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Clarity needed on crimes threatening national security

Graphic: Jordan's flag

The NCHR's 2014 annual report has draw attention to the status of freedom of expression and freedom of the press in Jordan.

The status of freedom of expression and of the press remains a main concern in Jordan, according to the 2014 annual report of the country's national human rights institution.

"One of the greatest challenges regarding freedom of expression and the press is the lack of clear legislation that specifies the offences that threaten national security. The current laws are ambiguous," Mousa Burayzat, Commissioner General of the National Centre for Human Right (NCHR), told reporters.

"Claims of torture and abuse continue, but there have been substantial improvements in ensuring fair trials," Burayzat said.

The Jordan Times said the NCHR's report focused on civil, political, social and economic rights. It covered public life, legislative conditions, the situation of detention facilities and prisoners, administrative detention centres and the role of administrative officials.

The report also dealt with the situation of higher and compulsory education, and the problems that should be addressed at the national level in this sector, Burayzat said at the press conference.

The report criticised the government's execution of 11 men convicted of murder in 2014 and called for the scrapping of the death penalty. The death penalty in Jordan had been frozen since March 2006 before the government decided to reinstate it last year.

The report said there were 87 reported cases of torture in 2014, including 62 that are still being investigated.

"The legal environment in Jordan still falls short in following up on alleged perpetrators of torture and conducting proper investigations, which leads to many escaping punishment and victims of torture are not compensated as a result," the report said.

The NCHR recommended the introduction of a national mechanism where a team would visit detainees regularly. It also called for establishing specialised rehabilitation centres for victims of torture.

In addition, the report recommended introducing and/or amending laws related to torture to enhance investigation procedures, ensure justice for the abused and provide financial compensation in cases that are proved in court.

Date: 18 August 2015

Source: Jordan Times

Image credits

  1. Jordan's flag - Argenberg, Flickr; http://bit.ly/1YEyvug