Jordan should stop withdrawing nationality arbitrarily from Jordanians of Palestinian origin, Human Rights Watch said in a report released Monday. According to the international body, the Jordanian authorities stripped more than 2,700 of these Jordanians of their nationality between 2004 and 2008, and the practice continued in 2009.
"Jordan is playing politics with the basic rights of thousands of its citizens," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "Officials are denying entire families the ability to lead normal lives with the sense of security that most citizens of a country take for granted."
Jordanian officials have defended the practice as a means to counter any future Israeli plans to transfer the Palestinian population of the Israeli-occupied West Bank to Jordan.
Human Rights Watch found that the Jordanian Interior Ministry provided no clear procedure to appeal these decisions. "High-handed officials are withdrawing nationality in a wholly arbitrary manner," Whitson said. "One day you're Jordanian, and the next you've been stripped of your rights as a citizen in your own country."