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NCHR report reveals Kingdom’s human rights situation in 2018

By Rana Husseini - Nov 04,2019 - Last updated at Nov 04,2019

AMMAN — The National Centre for Human Rights (NCHR) on Monday said that it had received over 100 claims of torture and cruel treatment at the hands of authorities, submitted by the families of prisoners and detainees in Jordan in 2018.

“We had 107 reported cases of people being abused, tortured and treated inhumanely by the authorities while in detention and correctional facilities,” said Commissioner General of the National Centre for Human Rights Mousa Burayzat.

Burayzat was speaking during a press conference at the NCHR headquarters to announce the findings of the 2018 report on the human rights situation in the country.

Torture is not a systematic practice among security agencies in Jordan, Burayzat said.

He added that there were 332 complaints against the cadre of the PSD, “but only 10 cases were referred to the police court, 240 were dropped and 31 cases were still pending further investigations”.

However, the NCHR commission added that the Transparency and Human Rights office at the PSD “is highly cooperative with our centre and is quick to respond to citizens’ complaints”.

The NCHR commissioner pointed out that 23 death sentences were given in 2018, five of which were reduced by the General Pardon.

“We did not have any executions last year and we are against the death penalty,” Burayzat said.

Turning to the issue of administrative detention, Burayzat told reporters that there were 37,683 individuals who were imprisoned in Jordan.

“We have had an increase in the numbers since 2017, when the number of people locked up in Jordan under administrative detention was 34,795,” he said.  

Burayzat also said that 757 cases pertaining to the freedom of expression and opinion were filed in 2018, resulting in the detainment of 130 people.

The report also pointed to rise in detention and prosecution of individuals for “speaking out on social media platforms”, participation in sit-ins and protests and expressing opinions using other means.

The number of cyber crime cases in 2018, according to Burayzat, reached 1,821 and resulted in the imprisonment of 161 individuals.

On the right to assembly, the NCHR cited a number of bans on public gatherings issued by administrative governors, however these measures did not prevent people from staging peaceful marches and demonstrations in protest against the policies and practices of the government, the NCHR commissioner said.

NCHR Chairman of the Board of Trustees Rohayel Gharaibeh said during the press conference that “the centre is a free entity that is not subjected to any form of pressure by any authority”.

“We work in a very professional manner and our main goal is to move forward with the human rights situation in Jordan,” Gharaibeh said.

The NCHR report also called for a “democratic process that would ensure effective political pluralism that would work towards eliminating the gap between citizens and the government as well as diminishing all forms of violations and obstacles that stand in the path of human rights in Jordan”.    

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