Canada leads by example: Jordan pulls citizenship from Palestinians: rights group

An all too familiar story emenating out of Jordan today. Those fine upholders of human rights in the Middle East must be following the lead of Jason Kenney, our Citizenship and Immigration Minister, whose example of denying citizenship to Canadian born persons, their children and grandchildren is like a "How To" guide on discrimination.

After reading this article, I actually talked to the people at Human Rights Watch about the Lost Canadians. Their response: We don't do a lot of work in Canada.

Well I guess you don't!! I had to do a double take on that one. Excuse me Human Rights Watch, but have you bothered to listen to the stories of the Lost Canadian lately? Human Rights Watch better start looking at Canada because there are thousands of people just like these Jordanians who have been told the same thing by Canada's Minister of Citizenship and Immigration. YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE.

Mon Feb 1, 8:24 AM

Click to read original story on Huma Rights Watch

AMMAN (AFP) - Jordan has revoked citizenship from nearly 3,000 Jordanians of Palestinian origin in recent years and should put a stop to the practice, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report released Monday.

HRW said 2,732 Palestinians were stripped of their Jordanian nationality between 2004 and 2008.

"Jordan is playing politics with the basic rights of thousands of its citizens," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director of the US-based group that released the 60-page report at a news conference in Amman.

"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," the report said.

The practice continued in 2009, denying many people basic citizenship rights such as access to education and health care, HRW said.

"We believe the total and actual number of those who have been stripped of their nationality is much bigger," Christoph Wilcke, a HRW researcher, told reporters.

In some cases, one person's nationality was withdrawn involuntarily, while that of a sibling in identical circumstances was not, the report said.

In 1950, Jordan annexed the West Bank following the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, and granted all residents Jordanian nationality.

But in 1988, Amman severed legal and administrative ties to the West Bank, "relinquishing claims to sovereignty there and withdrawing Jordanian nationality from all Palestinians who resided in the West Bank at the time," the report said.

"Other Jordanians of West Bank origin, but who were not living in the West Bank at the time, were not affected and kept their Jordanian nationality. Over the last decade and more, though, Jordan has arbitrarily withdrawn its nationality from thousands of these citizens of West Bank origin," the report said.

Jordan, where a significant proportion of the nearly six million inhabitants are of Palestinian origin, has said the measure was a means to counter any Israeli plans to transfer Palestinians of the West Bank to the kingdom, according to HRW.

"One day you're Jordanian, and the next you've been stripped of your rights as a citizen in your own country," Whitson said.