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Yearbook 2008

Jordan. In April, 24 political parties were dissolved in accordance with a 2007 law that stipulated that each party must be instituted by at least 500 members from at least five different provinces. Only twelve of the country's 36 parties were allowed to continue operating.

2008 Jordan

In May, the State Security Court sentenced three men to 15 years in prison each for plans to murder U.S. President George W. Bush during his visit in J. 2006. At first, the three were sentenced to death, but it was immediately converted to prison. Nine other men who were previously sentenced to death for planning terror attacks also had their sentences converted to life. Four of these were convicted in his absence, among them al-Qaeda leader in Iraq, Abu Musab az-Zarqawi, who was killed in a US air strike in 2006.

According to Countryaah reports, King Abdullah became the first Arab head of state to visit Iraq on August 11. The visit, which was not announced in advance, lasted four hours. Relations between Shiite-dominated Iraq and Sunnis-dominated J. had been strained since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Hundreds of Iraqi refugees are living in difficult conditions in J.

Two human rights organizations, Amnesty International and the Jordanian National Center for Human Rights, reported harsh conditions for foreign guest-working women in J. In the fall, the women, most maids from Southeast or South Asia, were subjected to abuse and sexual abuse by their employers. They were forced to work up to 20 hours in a row, sometimes without pay for several years. Embassies of Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka opened sheltered housing for women who have moved their employers. There were 40,000 registered foreign maids in J. but many more were there illegally. In January, the Philippines banned its citizens from traveling to J. to work.

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