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MPs amend Penal Code to ensure criminalisation of torture

By Khaled Neimat - Jan 21,2014 - Last updated at Jan 21,2014

AMMAN — Deputies on Tuesday endorsed amendments suggested by the government to the Penal Code to ensure that torture of any kind is deemed illegal and punishable by law.

At a Lower House session, MPs voted in favour of scrapping the term “types of illegal torture” from Paragraph 1 of Article 208 of the Penal Code, to avoid the implication that some types of torture are legal.

In its original wording, the paragraph stipulated a six-month to three-year prison term for anyone who inflicts “any type of torture unsanctioned by the law” on an individual to obtain a confession of a crime or information on one.

The government’s proposal considered “mental and moral torture” a crime, but the MPs limited the phrase to “moral torture”, excluding the word “mental” from it.

They argued that the word “moral” is a broader term that includes mental and other types of torture.

Jordan is a state party to the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

Meanwhile, the 149-strong Lower House endorsed the draft customs law and a bill to rectify the Free Trade Agreement between Jordan and Canada.

Also on Tuesday, the Lower House Legal Committee concluded its discussions over the draft Anti-Corruption Commission law.

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