HR Watch condemns Jordanian for refusing to serve Israelis

December 7, 2010 20:55

Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a statement on Tuesday calling on Jordanian authorities to look into and publicly condemn an Aqaba restaurant owner who recently refused to serve Israeli Jews.

According to the statement, the restaurant owner, Salwa Al-Barghouti, told HRW that she turned away the Israelis in late November, and that they proceeded to file a complaint with the police, but police said they did not intend to follow up on the incident.Jordan is obligated by international law to prohibit racial discrimination in any place used by the general public, HRW said.

"When it comes to restaurants, there's an obligation even on private businesses not to discriminate based on nationality or religion," said Christoph Wilcke, senior Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch. "Jordanian authorities should investigate and make sure they have adequate laws and other tools to address such incidents."

Al-Barghouti told HRW that she had requested the two Israelis leave "because they were Israeli." When they asked her were behaving offensively, she said they were not. Al-Barghouti added that she had refused to serve Israelis on several previous occasions.

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