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‘Gov’t panel to follow up on recommendations of human rights report’

By JT - Aug 22,2015 - Last updated at Aug 22,2015

AMMAN — Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour on Saturday formed a committee to follow up on the recommendations of the National Centre for Human Rights (NCHR) report on the condition of human rights in Jordan during 2014.

Chaired by Basel Tarawneh, the government coordinator on human rights, the committee will comprise representatives of the ministries of education, interior, foreign affairs, planning and international cooperation, labour, municipalities, social development, justice, culture, and political and parliamentary affairs as members. 

The committee will also comprise representatives of the General Intelligence Department, the Public Security Department (PSD) and the Prime Ministry, and the premier is expected to receive the outcome of the committee’s work within two months, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

Under the premier’s decision, the director of the transparency and human rights department of the PSD will be committee rapporteur and Ghadeer Iskandarini of the Prime Ministry will be its secretary.

The decision comes after His Majesty King Abdullah received a copy of the report from the NCHR board of trustees’ chairman Mohammad Adnan Al Bakhit.

Ensour also received a copy so that the government would take the needed measures to examine the recommendations.

The report says the status of human rights in Jordan regarding freedom of expression and the press remains a main concern, with the lack of clear legislation that specifies offences that threaten national security.

It also criticised the government’s execution of 11 men convicted of murder in 2014 and called for scrapping the death penalty.

Turning to alleged torture cases, the report said there were 87 reported cases 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.

It recommended introducing a national mechanism under which a team would visit detainees regularly, and called for establishing specialised rehabilitation centres for victims of torture.

The report also 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 courts.

Other recommendations include working on raising citizens’ awareness of their rights and duties.

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