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Government says all refugees treated justly, equally

By Khetam Malkawi - Aug 03,2014 - Last updated at Aug 03,2014

AMMAN — The government on Sunday criticised an international report “accusing” the country of discriminating against Palestinian refugees fleeing the war in Syria to the Kingdom.

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, titled “Not Welcome: Jordan’s Treatment of Palestinians Escaping Syria”, accuses Jordan of practising discrimination against Palestinians coming from Syria, allegations described as “baseless” by a senior official.

According to a summary of the report the watchdog e-mailed to The Jordan Times on Sunday as part of an invitation to attend a ceremony Thursday to release the full document, HRW alleges that Jordan applies a policy of denying entry to Palestinians fleeing Syria and deporting back to Syria those who enter irregularly.

 “Once we let refugees in at the borders, we do not discriminate between them on grounds of origin,” said Minister of Political and Parliamentary Affairs Khaled Kalaldeh.

Hundreds of Palestinians who fled to Jordan  were hosted in a camp known as “Cyber City”, an industrial complex on the edge of the border city of Ramtha.

Kalaldeh told The Jordan Times that all refugees who manage to cross the borders are treated on equal footing, both Syrians and Palestinians residing in Syria.

However, he explained that a scrutiny process is conducted after their entry to Jordan. 

“We cannot allow those who do not have documents to stay, regardless of who they are.”

“This is the practice all over the world,” the minister said.

According to latest official figures, there are 1.3 million Syrians in Jordan, including more than 600,000 registered refugees. 

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