My Experience with JHR – Ahmed Bani Hani

ahmed bani hani portrait

July 9

Ahmed Bani Hani

At the end of August 2019, my first human rights experience started after I submitted a proposal to cooperate with Journalists for Human Rights “JHR” and it was about the injuries of soccer players in the Jordan Professional League and clubs evading and delaying their treatment.

It did not take long during my work on the report until I was injured (not athletic), as the final diagnosis was a fracture of the lumbar vertebra in the spine, and therefore I need to undergo surgical intervention as soon as possible, which affected the preparation of the report, but at that time I felt the injuries and pain of injured players as the ones I covered in the report were the serious types, just like the one I had and the high costs involved in treating them.

After about a month of surgical intervention and my return to practicing my life in a sub-normal way, I re-contacted Mr. Mohammad Shamma who supervised the report during that period and took into account my health conditions that came without warning throughout that period, but it did not prevent me from completing my first experience. I have started to communicate with the cases to find, during work, there are deficiencies in the legislation and regulations that support the players’ right to treatment, which helps clubs delay the insurance of players’ treatment and the non-conformity of those regulations with FIFA regulations.

I do not deny that what motivated me to make a great effort to accomplish the report titled (Treating Football Players… Evading Clubs and Insufficient Regulations) is that it is the first human rights report in the sports field and I was happy that I was the first journalist to address this field despite the difficulties faced working.

This was my first experience in cooperating with JHR and I received good responses about the report at that time, especially since I have been interested in the sports side for a long time and worked in it during my studies and volunteered in the Yarmouk Journalism Journal for 4 years during which the sports page had to include a sports article or report of me. After the positive reactions, I felt that I was already looking for more experiences in a field I did not write about before, especially since the human rights field lives with us, yet, the shortage of highlighting it is great and does not receive much attention from the media institutions in Jordan.

The human rights field prompts you to write about the stories that represent you, represent the people who live near you, and the same community that you live in. It has not been long before the Coronavirus came to my city, Irbid in the north of the Kingdom after the virus spread due to a wedding ceremony attended by people who came from infected countries. This turned Irbid into the first city that the authorities isolate for fear of the spread of the virus is an epicenter for its spread, which highlighted it and the life and suffering of people in the city. Such sufferings included difficulties obtaining treatments or providing people with goods and basic needs as well as work interruption. An Al-Ghad newspaper report covered the first page, just like what happened with the report published in the sports section of the same newspaper.

After a short period, and like any journalist who wishes to work in the field of human rights, I presented a proposal to Mr. Mohammad Shamma about dealing with the medical waste generated from the places of health isolation and Coronavirus sufferers. But he told me that his work now would be far from the Coronavirus issues and at the same time encouraged me to write it with another institution. This is what happened, as I submitted the proposal to 7ibr, which welcomed the idea and started working on it in cooperation with JHR. This report is considered the first in this field where journalists and media institutions did not address it, and the report was entitled (How does Jordan get rid of hazardous medical waste resulting from the Coronavirus?). The report received great praise from those interested in the environmental field.

Finally, before the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, I had agreed with Mr. Shamma and JHR to prepare a report on the difficulties and problems experienced by people in the governorate of Irbid, specifically in health centers and about services received by the population, in addition to their demands to convert some of the primary centers into comprehensive centers to achieve greater benefit from them. The idea of ​​the report came from my own experience and that of some who I know. I worked on this report as well and tried to highlight the suffering of citizens in accessing health care. On the other hand, we received promises from the Directorate of Health in Irbid to improve the quality of services and activate control over employees’ working hours and health centers to provide the best services.

There are many stories and experiences in the field of human rights, but highlighting them will not cover the scale of violations and abuses, as media organizations are not interested in covering this type of story. Although this topic has been further highlighted in the recent period, we need greater support for in-depth engagement, as these issues represent people who we might look like them by time. This is what we are working on by highlighting the legislation that protects workers’ rights or (cases) as we address them in the reports and legal and right opinions that support it.

I received a call a few days ago from the Tamkeen Legal Aid Center after Mr. Shamma nominated me to take a course in social protection. I do not deny my weak knowledge in this field and my need for a theoretical and practical course that establishes a real concept on the field of human rights and the fertile environment that includes many stories. The four-day course added a lot to me and I benefited from the diversity of the offering made.

Finally, despite my short experience in this field, I discover new things and stories on a daily basis that deserve to be told and lead websites and newspapers because there are people who suffer and deserve that we stand by them and help them as much as possible.

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