AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — A rights group says Jordan is discriminating against Palestinians seeking refuge from violence in Syria by forcibly returning new arrivals and threatening others with deportation.

While the New York-based Human Rights Watch praises Jordan’s admission of some 140,000 Syrian refugees, the report says that authorities have arbitrarily detained Palestinians in a holding center without any options except to return to Syria.

Jordanian Information Minister Sameeh Maaytah dismissed the allegations as “totally baseless.”

HRW researcher Gerry Simpson said Wednesday a dozen Palestinians, including women and children, were detained recently for months with no possibility of release. Nine others said they or relatives had been deported or threatened with deportation.

Human Rights Watch is calling on Jordan to treat Palestinian residents of Syria the same as Syrian refugees.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.