Human Rights Watch says draft legislation in Jordan would stifle democracy

Human Rights Watch is urging Jordan to scrap draft legislation that it says would stifle democracy in the country. The rights group says one of the laws under consideration would increase the government's control over non-governmental organizations by requiring official approval for donations and allowing authorities to shut down organizations for minor violations. It says the other proposal would restrict people's right to gather or hold demonstrations. Human Rights Watch sent a letter to Jordan's prime minister Tuesday to press for the legislation to be withdrawn from parliament. The group accused Jordan of putting a "legal veneer" on efforts to stifle civil society. Government officials said they would respond later.