Update: February 19, 2015
The trial of Amer Jubran in Jordan is now in its final phase. Those who are familiar with the case will recall that Amer was arrested by the General Intelligence Directorate (GID) in May of 2014 and held for the first two months at an undisclosed location, without charges, and without contact with lawyers or family. In August, Amer was finally given the charges against him — a list of “terrorism” offenses accusing him of planning armed actions in coordination with Hizballah against Israel and against US forces stationed in Jordan.The prosecution has now presented its full case. The bulk of the “evidence” consists of false confessions coerced from others. Amer himself has made it clear that all of the charges are false and politically motivated.
We are confident that the government’s case would collapse under the scrutiny of any legitimate legal process, but the trial is unfolding before Jordan’s State Security Court–a special jurisdiction that fails to meet even the most minimum standards of judicial independence. The State Security Court is simply an arm of the GID itself. For this reason, we are concerned that Amer’s sentencing is a foregone conclusion and the trial has been a mere formality.
As we predicted, the vague new “anti-terrorism” laws enacted by Jordan last June have also figured prominently in Amer’s prosecution. These laws were passed after Amer’s arrest in May. They criminalize activities that threaten to “harm relations with a foreign government.” Their formulation is so vague as to allow the widest possible range of activities to be called “terrorism,” including political speech critical of Jordan’s foreign policies.
We believe that this issue of “relations with a foreign government” is what is fundamentally at stake in Amer’s trial. As an activist and writer, Amer has focused on Israel and the United States, and their criminal aggression against Palestine and the surrounding Arab region. It’s notable that there is nothing in his writing or activism concerning the government of Jordan itself. All who know Amer, know that he would never do anything to harm the people of Jordan; even the Jordanian government has not made such claims. His activities can’t be construed as a threat to the “security” of Jordan. It’s clear that Amer’s arrest and detention are being carried out for the benefit of the US and Israel, and probably at their behest.
Not long after Amer’s detention, Israel launched another attack on the imprisoned people of Gaza, killing and dispossessing thousands, and devastating Gaza’s basic civilian infrastructure — acts that appalled people all across the globe. In this context, we can only ask: Why is Jordan going out of its way to lock up its own citizens for trying to defend Arab people from their clear enemies?
Ultimate culpability for Amer’s imprisonment lies in Washington and in Tel-Aviv. Enormous pressure has been placed on Arab governments to cooperate with US and Israeli designs or face consequences that range from political and economic destabilization to total physical destruction.
We nevertheless send out this message as an appeal to Jordanian authorities. Maybe it’s time to reconsider the existing “relations with foreign governments” who have proven their willingness to commit the worst possible crimes against people throughout the Arab world. Amer Jubran should not be prosecuted as a criminal, but honored as a patriot who has dedicated himself to defending Arab lands from foreign aggression.
Amer Jubran Defense Campaign