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Urgent Interventions

'Jordan: Arbitrary detention


JOR 002 / 0012 / OBS 131
Arbitrary detention
20th December 2000

The Observatory for the protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the FIDH and the OMCT, requests your URGENT intervention in the following situation in Jordan.

Brief description of the situation :

The Observatory has been informed by the Jordan Society for Human Rights of the detention, on 17th December 2000, of a number of human rights activists in Jordan as they attempted to join a sit-in for the release of many of the city’s activists who were detained by the General Intelligence Service (GIS) following October 2000 demonstrations in solidarity with the Palestinian Intifada.

According to the information received, the following persons were prevented from reaching the Maan city (220 km distance from the capital city of Amman). They were stopped by 3 police cars:
Nai’im Madani, lawyer and head of the Professional Union General Freedoms Committee and board member of the Arab Organization for Human Rights – Jordan Branch;
Akram Kraishan, Vice President of the Arab Organisation for Human Rights;
Dr. Hisham Bustani, head of Freedoms Committee at the dentists union;
Dr. Ibrahim Alloush, university professor;
Mr Muwafaq Mahadin, writer and journalist;
Mr Sami Abu Hilaleh, journalist.

It is reported that the police force handcuffed the 6 human rights activists, pointed guns to their heads and then drove them to the offices of the mayor who informed the group that they were not allowed to go to the city without giving any justification. The six persons were later released.

This incident comes after a series of detentions during the last few weeks which have involved huge masked security forces entering civilian houses during the night, pointing guns at children and women, and detaining brothers as replacements for persons followed by the GIS. Many cases of torture were reported against detainees who were kept in solitary detention for long periods. Released detainees also reported that they suffered from bruises all over their bodies and that they were beaten by electrical wires and clubs. Some also reported that they did not have any charge brought against them.

The Observatory is gravely concerned by this incident and all other arbitrary arrests and detentions reported in Jordan.

Actions requested:

Please write to the Jordanian authorities urging them to:

i. ensure the full freedom of action of human rights defenders in Jordan in conformity with the Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9th 1998 in particular Article 1 which states that “Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”;

ii. generally, guarantee the effective respect of fundamental human rights and freedoms in accordance with the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and international and regional Pacts and Covenants ratified by Jordan.

Addresses :

Prime Minister of Jordan, His excellency Ali Abu Ragheb, Office of the Prime Minister, Amman, Jordan, Fax : + 962 6 464 25 20
Royal Court Fax: (+962) 6 5677376
Ministry of Interior Fax: (+962) 6 5606908
Upper House of the Parliament Fax: (+962) 6 5685970
Lower House of the Parliament Fax: (+962) 6 4664121
Royal Committee for Human Rights Fax: (+962) 6 4624230

Geneva - Paris, 20th December 2000

Kindly inform the Observatory of any action undertaken quoting the code number of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, an FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need. 1998 Human Rights Prize of The French Republic.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line: Fax : +33 (0) 1 55 80 83 92
Tel: FIDH +33 (0) 1 48 55 20 11 OMCT: +41 (0) 22 809 49
39 E.Mail :
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