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Right to due process

Apr 11,2017 - Last updated at Apr 11,2017

The National Centre for Human Rights and the transparency and human rights unit at the Public Security Department (PSD) recently issued a joint report critical of conditions in temporary detention facilities and cases of ill treatment of detained people.

The report listed a list of violations that require immediate attention in order for the government to comply with national laws and international human rights treaties that Jordan signed and ratified.

The list of violations mentions, among others, excessive use of force during arrest, late night security raids, holding detainees in administrative detention for long periods of time, denial to seek the help of a lawyer and poor sanitary conditions.

Administrative detention is ordered, strangely, not by the judiciary but by district governors; even more strangely, cases of suspected torture are not referred to regular courts, but to police courts. 

“It is very regrettable that torture cases are referred to the police court in the presence of serious criminal allegations, such as battering that led to death and disobedience of orders and instructions,” the report states. 

Moreover, “only three torture cases were referred to the court over the last six years and they have not been ruled on to date”, it adds.

It appears, therefore, that there are insufficient or inadequate laws to protect detained people from arbitrary detention and ensure that they get proper treatment during detention.

Moreover, even when there are laws, for example against torture and inhuman treatment, there are lapses at time, failure to adhere to such laws and regulations because detained people are considered “criminals” even before they are found guilty in a court of law.

Still, the fact that the report raised several urgent issues regarding detention facilities and the treatment of detainees is expected to prompt the government to take remedial measures as a matter of high priority.

The PSD itself has formed a committee to address the issue, according to its head, and that is to be commended.

 

Whatever their deeds, people have the right to due process, to stand trial in a court of law.

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