Statement – Thursday 29 April 2021
The Regional Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRD) Coalition in the Middle East and North African region (MENA) condemns and expresses its deep concern towards the sentence imposed on Jordanian WHRD and syndicate activist Laila Hedaidon of imprisonment for 3 months, after she acted in solidarity with her teaching colleagues who were arrested post their participation in demonstrations for improving living conditions for them and receiving better pension during July and August 2020, after which the authorities shut down the Teachers’ Syndicate in Amman in July 2020, and 11 other branches across the country. And it is what the coalition believes she is being punished for, and her hard work in the field of human rights, and her defense of her syndicate rights and freedom of expression and assembly.
It is worth noting that the Amman Magistrates Court refused for the 5th time her request to substitute the sentence of Laila Hedaidon’s imprisonment sentence with a fine, which issued by the same court due to her writing on social media on teachers’ issues, as the sentence was issued in accordance to the cybercrimes law.
The Regional Coalition calls on the Jordanian authorities to immediately annul the sentence issued against WHRD and syndicate activist Laila Hedaidon, stop the use of loose statutes and violate human rights to punish WHRDs and syndicate activists in dissent, and open the space for them to defend rights and freedoms. The Regional Coalition also holds the Jordanian authorities responsible for Hedaidon’s physical integrity and psychological wellbeing.