The continuous detention of prisoners of conscience in Jordan is a serious escalation

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The continuous detention of prisoners of conscience in Jordan is a serious escalation

Skyline International expresses its deep concern over the
continued detention of more than 40 people in Jordan for expressing their opinions and peaceful demonstrations.

Such arrests have recently increased in Jordan. The Jordanian authorities are seeking to transfer detainees to the State Security Court, which is a very serious decision.

Jordanian authorities arrested Suhaib Nasrallah, Muhammad
Abu Ajaj, and Malik al-Jizawi on June 26, and continue to
detain them at Juwaida prison for participating in a protest near the US embassy in Amman on June 21.

The Details in Jordan الأردن

On Thursday June 29, the three detainees were transferred to
the State Security Court prosecutor who charged them with terrorism-related security offenses.

According to article 3 (b) of the Prevention of Terrorism Law
the “acts that would endanger the Kingdom of hostile acts or It disturbs its relations with a foreign country or exposes Jordanians to the risk of reprisals against them or their money”.

Lawyer Nour Al-Imam, the three detainees’ attorney, says that
the charges filed against the three detainees were for demonstrating against Saudi Arabia.

Al-Imam also said that the authorities arrested Malik Al-Jizawi,
one of the three detainees, in a way that violates the law; Al-Jizawi was deceived through a phone call that his brother is in the hospital, so that he gets arrested as soon as he gets there. 

“This is inappropriate and is considered a psychological abuse” she said.

The Jordanian Code of Criminal Procedure regulates the
proper procedure of arrest, and if the executive authorities opposes these regulations then the arrest is considered illegal. This includes notifying the person before the arrest and signing a special record in the presence of his lawyer.

Nour Kharma, legal researcher at Skyline International, states
that the Jordanian authorities are transferring arrested persons on issues of freedom of opinion and expression to the State Security Court, which is very alarming and requires an urgent action to prevent it; as this trial is illegal and contrary to the most basic legal principles.

The Jordanian authorities usually deny the existence of
detainees based on “opinion and expression” and claim that they are detained on other issues, often related to state security.

Authorities attribute such charges to arrested persons and this fundamentally contradicts the principles of public freedoms and freedom of opinion.

Jordan and the Freedom

Nour Kharma denounces the charges against detainees based
on the Prevention of Terrorism Act, in which the definition of terrorism is broadly defined; this could mar to many suspicions.

The level of freedom of opinion and expression in Jordan has
decreased significantly, and there are many concerns regarding the conditions of detainees in prisons. Some are subjected to torture, ill-treatment and are prosecuted on false charges. Opposing to these facts, government officials, led by Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz, state that public freedoms in Jordan have improved. 

Skyline International affirms that prisoners of conscience cannot be trialled in either state security courts or within the civil courts.

Participating in peaceful marches and expressing opinions
peacefully shall not be considered a terrorist or security threatening act, since this clearly violates the Constitution of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

The human rights organization calls on the Jordanian Prime
Minister to intervene urgently and release the latest detainees whom were arrested based on their opinion.

Skyline International also calls for the need to review the laws
that are used to charge the detainees of opinion, especially
the amendments to the Prevention of Terrorism Act of 2006 and the Cybercrime Act of 2015.

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