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Syrian chargé d'affaires in Amman summoned over ‘unexplained’ arrests of Jordanians

30 citizens arrested in Syria ‘without providing reasons’

By JT - Apr 04,2019 - Last updated at Apr 04,2019

AMMAN — The Foreign Ministry on Thursday called on the Syrian government to immediately release all Jordanian detainees and commit to international laws applicable in such cases.

International law obliges a country that detains the citizens of another country to notify the latter and state the reasons, place and circumstances of arrest, as well as provide a consular visit for embassy personnel to check on their health and arrest conditions, a Foreign Ministry statement said.

During a meeting between Foreign Ministry Secretary General Zeid Louzi and Syrian Chargé d'Affaires in Amman Ayman Alloush, Louzi asked Alloush to convey to his government Jordan’s dismay about the recurrent arrests of Jordanian citizens without disclosing any reason, Ministry Spokesperson Sufian Qudah said in the statement.

Louzi expressed hope that the Syrian government will respond to the demand of the Kingdom  and the families of apprehended citizens to immediately release all detainees in Syria.

If there is any suspicion against a Jordanian by Syrian security authorities, they must be deported to the Kingdom and denied reentry to Syria, but allowing them entry and arresting them is “unacceptable”, the secretary general stressed. 

Qudah said that this is the fourth time the Syrian chargé d’affaires has been summoned to request the release of Jordanians who head to Syria for tourism and get arrested by Syrian authorities without providing reasons for their arrest.

The spokesperson noted that since the reopening of borders in mid-October, Syrian authorities have arrested more than 30 Jordanians. 

The Foreign Ministry, once it received complaints from detainees’ families, started following up on the cases with Syria through the Jordanian embassy in Damascus and the Syrian embassy in Amman, according to Qudah.

In this regard, the ministry sent several official letters to Syria through diplomatic channels, while Syrian authorities “have not shown any kind of cooperation to clarify reasons and circumstances of arrests”, the spokesperson said.

For his part, Alloush pledged to follow up on the issue with his country’s concerned authorities and to provide an answer within the coming days, expressing his understanding for the “legitimate” Jordanian request.

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