Tuesday, June 27, 2006

On Vacation

I haven't been around too much of late, but I'm only just now going on an official vacation. We're taking off tonight. Be back in this space in mid-July.


At 5:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jordan must outlaw torture: UN rapporteur

AMMAN (AFP) - UN special rapporteur on torture Manfred Nowak has urged Jordan to criminalise torture and close special courts that protect police and intelligence offenders.

"I feel there is a general impunity in relation to torture in the country. Impunity is a major reason for why torture happens," Nowak told a news conference after a two-day fact-finding mission in Jordan.

"Torture must be made a crime," he said, adding that he will file a report with his recommendations to the UN's reformed Human Rights Council -- of which Jordan is a vice chair -- and the UN General Assembly.

Nowak singled out the detention facilities in Amman of the General Intelligence Deparment (GID) and the Central Investigation Department (CID) of the Public Security Forces as "notorious" torture centres.

"I have enough evidence to conclude that in those two places torture is practised systematically," said Nowak who visited the GID and CID detention facilities as well as three prisons south of Amman.

Nowak complained that officials at the GID and CID obstructed his fact-finding mission "in violation of the terms of reference of the visit agreed upon by the Jordanian government".

He said he was denied the right to take pictures and have a private interview with detainees at the GID, while officials tried to hide evidence at the CID.

Nowak also charged that police, prison and intelligence officials get away with mistreating detainees because if charged they are prosecuted in "special courts" rather that in ordinary tribunals.

"The special police and intelligence courts must be closed," he said.

He also recommended the closure of the Jafer prison, an isolated desert penitentiary 260 kilometers (160 miles) south of Amman, where he said beatings were "systematic" although he added that he did not believe that was part of a "systematic policy of torture" on the part of the Jordanian authorities.

06/29/2006 11:14


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