The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe decided on 29th January 2016 to grant the Jordanian Parliament the status of Partner for Democracy. A decision which was very much welcomed by the Assembly.
It is, however, a fact that the film “The Danish Girl” earlier in January was banned from being shown in five States in the Middle East, among them the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The reasons for censoring and blocking the viewing of the aforementioned film vary, but in the case of Jordan, Jordanian officials has reportedly claimed that the film “promoted homosexuality and gender transformation.”
Given the strong emphasis that the Council of Europe attaches to human rights such as the freedom of expression as well as equal rights and dignity of all human beings, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons, the decision shows the need to remind our Partners for Democracy of the importance of promoting these values.
Banning the viewing of a film such as “The Danish Girl” runs contrary to the spirit of the partnership to which the Parliament of Jordan has committed itself and we think that there is a definite need to remind our partners of this.