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Jordanians End Up in Prison For Failing to Repay Loans | Human Right Watch

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(Amman) – An alarming number of Jordanians end up in prison each year solely for failing to repay their loans, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Imprisonment for debt is a clear violation of international human rights law which few countries impose.

In the 47-page report, “‘We Lost Everything’: Debt Imprisonment in Jordan,” Human Rights Watch documents the harsh treatment of people unable to repay their debts. In the absence of an adequate social security net, tens of thousands of Jordanians feel compelled to take out loans to cover utilities, groceries, school fees, and medical bills. They often use unregulated informal lenders. Jordanian authorities should urgently replace laws that allow for debt imprisonment with effective personal bankruptcy legislation and enact social security protections to support indigent people.

“‘We Lost Everything’: Debt Imprisonment in Jordan” is available at:

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