Human Rights Day Call to Action for Amer Jubran, Thursday 12/10:
Jordan’s Court of Cassation Fails to Review Evidence, Accepts Use of Torture
Jordan’s Court of Cassation issued an opinion in November affirming the verdict of the State Security Court in the case of Amer Jubran. It gave only a weak recommendation that the State Security Court “reconsider” its sentencing decision.
In reaching its opinion, the court did not even discuss the appeal arguments. Most importantly, it ignored the fact that the verdict was based on false confessions obtained through torture.
Unfortunately, this decision of the Court of Cassation conforms to the general pattern of impunity for torture and denial of justice in Jordan’s judicial system.
As we have written in earlier updates, the routine use of torture by Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate is well-documented by global human rights organizations. The UN Committee Against Torture has specifically condemned the State Security Court’s lack of independence from the GID and has been calling for its abolition since 1994.
We are urging people to express their outrage at the failure of Jordan’s highest court to give Amer’s case any meaningful review and its continued acceptance of false “confessions” obtained through torture in cases decided by the State Security Court.
On Human Rights Day (Thursday December 10th), please write to Jordan’s ambassadors to the UN in Geneva and NY.
Please send an e-mail and/or fax (see sample letter below) on Thursday 12/10 to:
1) Ms. Saja Majali, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the UN in Geneva: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fax: +41 22 748 20 01 (011-41 22 748 20 01 if faxing from US)
2) Mrs. Dina Kawar, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to the UN in New York: Missionun@jordanmissionun.com
You can also cc us at email@example.com
Sample Letter : (Sample letter en Español)
Dear Mrs. Dina Kawar and Ms. Saja Majali,
I am writing to you about the case of Amer Jubran, a Jordanian citizen sentenced to ten years in prison by Jordan’s State Security Court on July 29, 2015. Jubran is a Palestinian speaker and writer with an international reputation as an advocate for Palestinian rights.
In May and June of 2014 Jubran was tortured by the Jordanian mukhabarat, in collusion with a state prosecutor, so that he would sign false statements which were used, in turn, to convict and sentence him. Jordan’s Court of Cassation recently upheld Jubran’s conviction while failing to address the issue of the torture he experienced, his forced confession, or any of the appeal arguments submitted by Jubran’s attorneys.
The Jordanian government has consistently violated the rights of Amer Jubran at every level of the judicial process:
1) Arrest without a warrant;
2) Incommunicado detention for 2 months;
3) No access to legal counsel for at least 2 months while in detention;
4) Torture, including forced stress positions, sleep deprivation, beatings, 72 to 120 hour interrogation sessions, and threats to family members;
5) Forced confessions obtained through torture that the defendant was not even permitted to read before signing;
6) Charges that include “committing acts that threaten to harm relations with a foreign government” based on a law promulgated one month after his arrest and that effectively criminalizes speech or any expression of protest directed at a foreign government;
7) A trial in Jordan’s State Security Court, a military tribunal with no judicial independence (the UN has called for its abolition since 1994); and
8) The State Security Court ruling on July 29, 2015 which states openly that the Court is “not obliged to discuss defense’s evidence presented by defense attorneys since accepting prosecution’s evidence automatically implies rejection of defense’s evidence” and relies solely on the forced confessions obtained through torture that Jubran and all his co-defendants recanted during trial.
Global human rights organizations including Alkarama Foundation, Amnesty International, and Human Rights Watch have expressed grave concerns about the human rights violations involved in Jubran’s case. People around the world have called for justice in Jubran’s case and repeatedly petitioned Jordan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, the Minister of Justice, Bassam Talhouni, and the Minister of the Interior, Salamah Hammad. There has been no response from the Jordanian government.
Does Jordan approve of torture? As Jordan’s ambassador to the United Nations, will you use your office to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, or to justify its violation?
A just resolution in this case requires that Jubran’s conviction be overturned and that his torturers be held accountable for their crimes.