The abstract of the report of torture case, its indicators in Jordan

الرابط المختصر

 

Introduction

 

 Achieving justice requires end torture and all illegal practices that give immunity to those who commit torture crimes, survivors should acknowledge what they suffer and enable them to access their effective judicial remedies which they deserve to continue their lives by preserving their human dignity.

Despite dedicating some of these rights in law, effective access to justice faces many legal and realistic difficulties that impede it.

 

Many cases of  torture are not mentioned  because survivors often did not talk about their suffering , since they feel ashamed of the way they were interrogated  , or revealing some of the degrading torture practices committed against them, but their illegal practices of the Law enforcement officers which is the main obstacle for declaring and lodge a complaint for torture or ill-treatment during their inferential investigation detention is what really frighten them seriously ,  in addition to lose trust of the competent authorities effectiveness to receive and move complaints. 

 

At the 15th Annual Conference on the situation of Human Rights in Jordan in 2018, according to the Commissioner- general  of the National center for Human Rights Torture and ill-treatment are widely practiced in some public security directorates , and according to the Special Rapporteur on torture, it can take many forms, including physical violence and all kinds of physiological abuse. Despite their severity that cannot be justified in any way. According to the Committee Against Torture CAT, it is stable that “treatment or cruel punishment" expression should be interpret to include maximum protection against abuse, when people deprived from freedom, prohibition of torture interferes with the principle of the human treatment of detainees.

 

Although torture is prohibited in Jordanian constitution, Adaleh center for human rights issues its third report on “absence of accountability", which comes a long time after Jordan joined the Convention against Torture and other cruel and degrading treatment. And this report presents an annual evaluation of the steps done by Jordan to the implementation of the convention on the national level by indicating to the achievements and shortcoming, if any, and whether torture is practiced in Jordan or not, a Measurement methodology known as  ' expert judgment data' includes expert judgments from aggregated evaluations of the human rights situation with the assistance of limited or sample of expert is used to answer this question.

 

 The centers also worked on building an indicator to measure Jordan’s compliance 

With the obligatory amendment of policies and legislations to prohibit torture in Jordan. This is based on a form of 42 sub-variables, according to the main obligations mentioned in the CAT, which considered as the main treaty that included basic and universally agreed international standards in the field of combating torture and other forms of ill- treatment, to protect physical safety , It

defined the content and scope of obligations owed to States parties to the Convention, including Jordan.

Considering that this indicator was developed by Adalah Center for the first time to measure the fulfillment of the basic legal obligations contained in the Convention against Torture, is considered an experimental indicator aiming to announce results that would provoke a public debate on this indicator, both quantitatively and qualitatively. The Center intends to issue periodical reports about it. Adalah Center hopes that this debate will enrich the process of building an objective and tight measure capable of monitoring and documenting the state of torture and its prevalence. And whether there has been progress in the measures taken by the State to prevent torture, the point of progress and regression. The Center aspires that this indicator would be applied regionally on the Arab world.

The final indicator study concludes that that the legal protection measures provided by Jordan to the indicators of measuring torture prevention fall within the scope of weak protection according to the classification of the tripartite Likert scale: weak protection, medium protection, strong protection. Jordan obtained 14.29% in the protection of the human right to physical integrity and prevention of torture and all forms of cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment. Jordan was unable to achieve 78.57% of the sub-indicators with its sub-questions, and achieved 7.14% of the sub-indicators with its sub-questions in a partial and incomplete way. This requires the activation of governmental, national and civil society efforts to increase the percentage of fulfillment and realization of the sub-indicators related to the barometer of torture prevention and the achievement of indicators to protect the human right to physical integrity and protection from torture.

Overall, the statistical analysis showed a gap in Jordanian legislation on the protection of the right to physical integrity, which was inevitably reflected in the practices of the concerned by the law enforcement, particularly with regard to guarantees of detention and investigation and prosecution of torture crimes.

 

In this context, we recommend that the required legal reform should be carried out urgently in order to achieve positive developments in the field of anti-torture efforts, as legislative obstacles are considered structural obstacles to protection efforts, especially prosecutions, even when there is political will to prevent torture and the government discourse is full of protectionist terms, it remains a theoretical public discourse and goes into practice only if we remove structural obstacles, the most important of which are legislative and cultural, that make torture common and acceptable.

This assessment, prepared by the Center in its third report of torture in Jordan examined the State's responsibility for its contractual obligations and revealed United national measures to guarantee the right to physical safety, and accountability of perpetrators of torture crimes. It also presents some cases of torture and recommendations on policy development and procedures which Followed by the law enforcement authorities of (PSD), evaluated it and make proposals based on global experience in building a human rights approach of combat drugs policies, and procedural proposals for an alternative to the inferential investigation in the Directorate of Public Security, to contribute to the national debate aimed at the total elimination of the practice of torture. 

In presenting its third report on torture, Adaleh Center emphasize here that this report does not cover cases of torture in any way, or expresses the magnitude of the phenomenon that is widespread or includes all cases received by the Center .It lacked some legal documentation ,proof so its publication was postponed until the completion of documentation and evidence procedures, for which reports were issued by local and international media organizations and institutions directed to media or as reports to relevant authorities to investigate allegations of torture.

Because of the difficulty of receiving reports of torture, no monitoring visits by any of the institutions of civil society were allowed to any "goggles" rehabilitation or temporary detention centers. We conclude that this report does not represent a factual survey of the crime of torture in Jordan. The Center emphasizes the need for effective mechanisms to monitor the effective application of the law and the guarantees available to victims, and Create an effective and independent legal framework for the periodic control of places of detention , review the Public Security Directorate (preliminary Investigation) system for investigating crimes in particular, the Criminal and narcotic Departments.

 

Positive developments in the field of torture at the national level:

 

Amend the text of article 208 of the Penal Code by raising the minimum penalty for the perpetrator of torture for one year, but the penalty should have been amended to be criminal.

 

Some amendments to the Jordanian Code of Criminal Procedure concerning guarantees of fair trial, the most important of which is the amendment of the text of article 114 by making alternatives to arrest in cases of gender; The most important of these is the amendment of article 114 by making alternatives to arrest in cases of delinquency, challenging the duration of detention by misdemeanors, and amending the text of article 208 on the provision of legal assistance for its needs.

Increase in the number of complaints of torture and ill-treatment.

 

 Launching the national plan to support the capabilities of the Jordanian rehabilitation and rehabilitation centers.

 

Practices of torture and ill-treatment at the national level:

 

 First, the number of administrative detainees has increased.

 

Second: The expansion of returns to security centers.

 

Third: Complaints referred to the Police Court for torture decreased.

 

Fourth: inclusion the crime of torture by the Amnesty Law No. 5 of 2019.

 

Fifth: The persistence of impunity and the absence of remedies for victims of torture.

 

Sixth: a great increasing in the spread and abuse of drugs:

According to statistics of the narcotics department and the Criminal Information Service . In 2013-2018, Jordan witnessed a "significant" increase in drug abuse and spread, number of drug cases, and an increase in preoccupation at the National Center for the Treatment of Addiction to double

According to the Council's report, the number of drug cases doubled from 6113 in 2013, to 15,570 cases on 11 November 2018.The same period witnessed a rise of 138% for those who are arrested in drug cases. The study indicated that in 2016, the National Center for the rehabilitation of Drug addicts received more than 1,000 addicts, 984 males, 17 females. So the percentage of preoccupation in the center become 89%, which is more than twice as high as 2015, with 493 addictive cases received by the Center.

Seventh: Lack of transparency and information.

Eighth: Weak investigations conducted by the prosecution and the police prosecution:

 

Cases related to torture:

Ahmed Khaled Mekdad: 25/5/2018, he was arrested on a financial case after fleeing from the criminal investigation personnel’ He was attacked and hit in various parts of the body, and he lost consciousness more than once. While his existence in the Criminal investigation department, he was tortured by several means A person asked him to sign an affidavit that he did not know about, and he refused at the beginning, but he couldn’t tolerate the severity of torture and admitted and signed his testimony without informing him about it .The following morning, he was taken to the capital's Criminal investigation department.

On 3/7/2016, because of a complaint by his brother, his Excellency the prosecutor, along with a doctor, attended, and the injuries were recorded under a judicial medical report. He was then taken to the hospital for and returned to the security center, kept until recovery from injuries and then arrested under the testimonies he had signed under duress, beatings and torture.

 The case has been pending with the police prosecutor since 2016, has not been referred to the police court, and in 2019 the case was dropped for its inclusion under Amnesty Law No. 5 of 2019.

 

Khaled al-jidiya: In the 9th of 2012, the plaintiff was arrested by the criminal investigation after he had run away from his friend's house the previous day when they came to his house and left for them and asked to come with them to the security center But he was surprised by the shooting outside, and from the moment of his arrest, nine people gathered to torture him, put his head in a water Bucket, until he was almost choking for the purposes of recognizing a crime he did not commit, and acknowledge on another person with him.

He did not admit the charge against him because he was innocent, and every day he was accompanied by the Directorate of Security of Al-Mafraq to the security center of al-Mafraq. And tied him up at several times of the night with a pipe and pulling him painfully for several days until he had admitted. The case was heard by the Mafraq Criminal Court and acquitted on 28/2/2018.

When asked not to file a complaint throughout this period, the accused reported that he had informed the prosecutor of his exposure, and had not been transferred to forensic medicine, he waited for the verdict to be pronounced, and that he suffered from a bad psychological condition whenever he remembered what had happened.

 

Abdallah Al-Natour: On 7/2/2019, the mother of the late Abdullah Al-Natour was interviewed, according to reports that in the sixth month of 2018, the late Abdullah Abdullah was administratively arrested by the governor of the capital following the murder in Maan prison.

He was then transferred to Armeen prison and told her on the phone that a member of the salaries of Armeen rehabilitation center was abusing and beating him in front of the prisoners in the center yard.

He passed away on 13/1/2019 due to burns, with no details given to the parents.  In an interview on the Jordan Channel today, Ayman Al-Awaisheh, director of the rehabilitation and centers, stated in a program (Kalam Sareeh) that the late Abdel-Natour, while in solitary cell, he light a cigarette.

 

Raed Al-omari said that on 5/9/2019 he was arrested, and a group of teachers after their meeting to participate in the teachers' union sit-in after 

closing the street to prevent them from reaching the fourth round, they were treated in a very rude way, beaten in different places very severely and arrest his colleague and insults them by degrading their dignity.

After taking them to the security center of Al-Abadli , the security men refused to aid the plaintiffs, claiming that he do not need treatment, the suspects' request to contact a lawyer was refused and they abstained from giving their statements except in the presence of a lawyer. They were taken to the governor of the capital with a small cell that is very narrow, and there they signed a pledge not to crowd or sit down, then they were released, but the plaintiffs did not go for a medical report for fear of being arrested again.

 

Observations on statistics of complaints concerning torture:

The police prosecutor cannot follow up on cases; to obtain information on whether an investigation has been opened by the police prosecutor to prosecute any law enforcement officials for torture.

 

At the time of the preparation of this report, no conviction has been issued against perpetrators of torture within the limits of article 208 of the Penal Code, and all convictions in which the criminal description of the act has been changed.

 

The report also contained proposals on policy, and practice development for law enforcement officials, environment,. In which The center made proposals for the following:

 

 The development of the preliminary investigation methodology is a fundamental guarantee to reduce torture in Jordan: The Center proposes to develop a special protocol for the preliminary investigation, based on some  the key elements contributing to preventing abuse, guaranteeing the rights of detainees and obtaining accurate information to get to the truth.

The specific objective of the preliminary investigation shall be:

 1. Get accurate and reliable information to come up with the truth.

 2. Preliminary investigations shall not be aimed at obtaining confessions, any information that supports the presumptions of conviction, or any other assumptions of law enforcement officials.

3. Preliminary investigations should be carried out in order to give effect to the presumption of innocence.

 

 4. Build a friendly relationship based on empathy, ask open questions, listen attentively, and disclose potential evidence. These preliminary investigations are highly effective and comply with human rights.

Systematic preparation of the preliminary investigation: This increases the quality of the preliminary investigation, the probability of its success and vice versa, and if not sufficient it is likely to cause setbacks, and creates the risk of employees resorting to pressure, physical coercion to obtain information, or confessions.

How do we ensure the effectiveness of the preliminary investigation? – establish a friendly relationship with the suspect: It is a very important factor in determining the effectiveness of preliminary, non-coercive investigation

-Rely on open questions: Open, neutral questions are intended to encourage the suspect to recall events from memory, and are likely to a lesser extent, they are likely to produce declarations against their will.

- Rely on the methodology for the investigation of witnesses and guarantees: Encourage the suspect to initiate, where necessary, guided exploratory questions designed to infer information, test all possible alternative explanations that have already been identified during the preparation of the investigation.

 

Training content:

 The training of those assigned to the control of the report includes several elements, including:

Effective training in the international legal field for human rights.

Theoretical knowledge of international and domestic standards and guidelines relating to the initial investigation

Theoretical information and practical training in preparation Practice in the area of high-skill affidavits and investigations.

 Use exercises based on interrogation recording and review scenarios

Activities to raise awareness of the effective protection of the vulnerable and to adapt to their specific needs

 Training in international standards relating to the prohibition of torture and other cruel treatment. 

Preliminary methods of human rights-sensitive investigation.

 

How to deal with allegations of torture and ill-treatment and, documenting it effectively and investigate it .

Effective training for investigators in the field of use the modern and scientific available methods of investigation.

 

Basic guarantees for detained persons, which must be guaranteed during the pre- investigations of the Protocol: 

The safeguards provided for in article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and political Rights help:

By reducing opportunities for ill-treatment, coercion and incentives, during detention, judicial control of detention is a fundamental guarantee for persons deprived of liberty in the context of criminal charges.

Ensure that detained persons are informed of the rights guaranteed to them: This includes the right to inform the person immediately about  the reasons, and/or 

Factual and legal basis which justifies arrest, detention and the right to lodge a case before the Court and to have access to appropriate remedies . 

The right to have a lawyer: and this is the most important guarantee, because it also may protect officials from facing groundless allegations of torture and/or ill-treatment.

The right to remain silent:  detained persons on criminal charges must be informed of their right to remain silent When the law enforcement officials carry out their preliminary investigation.

Record the statement: All preliminary investigations of suspects should be recorded at least in audio, Video recording is preferred, and video recording devices should cover the entire briefing control room, including  all people present. Video recordings dissuade torture by making a recording by submitting a full and real record, and it can be reviewed during the investigation

Medical examination: it should be provided as soon as the detainee enters the detention facility, or at every operation at each transfer. Neutral professional examinations must be carried out.

 

_ Compliant and investigation mechanisms: The victim of torture or ill-treatment must have access to fair and effective mechanisms; to lodge complaints, protect against retaliation and reprisals. All complaints of ill-treatment should be transmitted to external independent bodies without being sorted out, comprehensive and effective statements, documents or other evidence obtained through torture must be excluded while medical professionals also have to report any signs of ill-treatment that they observe

 

Excluding evidences: This rule constitutes a non-delegable standard of customary international law. It is essential to respect the prohibition of acts of torture and ill-treatment through the creation of an inhibitor. The rule of exclusionary rule applies fully to the collection, sharing and receipt of any ill-treatment information. It is essential to respect the prohibition of acts of torture and ill-treatment through the creation of an inhibitor. The rule of exclusionary rule applies fully to the collection, sharing and receipt of any ill-treatment information.

 

Follow a human rights approach of combating narcotics policy to ensure the right to personal safety and human dignity:

 

Access to treatment is must, under articles 2 (2) and 3 of the Covenant, states should enforce the right to health without discrimination, including by granting this right to drug abusers.

Reducing harm: the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Committee of the Rights of the Child and the Special Rapporteur on the right to health stated that a harm-reduction approach was essential for drug abusers.

Prison health care: the treatment of drug addiction is very effective in reducing crime. 

Impediments to the realization of the right to health: the criminalization of drug abuse affects the implementation of the right to health. It calls for consideration of a Less restrictive approach to combat drugs, including the elimination of the criminal character or the abolition of sanctions .

Access to essential medicines: The Special Rapporteur on the right to health has pointed out that to these medicines is often subject to excessive restrictions for fear of diversion from legitimate medical uses. Decriminalization or the abolition of penalties for the possession and use of drugs.

 

Problems relating to the conviction of persons for drug abuse offenses:

The prohibition of discrimination: Various forms of discrimination may arise from the inclusion of a person's name in the criminal record (asbestos) because of his conviction for a drug-related offense.

 

Rights related to criminal justice:

Prohibition of arbitrary arrest and detention: It can also protect officials from facing unfounded allegations of torture and/or ill-treatment.

Prohibition of torture and other forms of ill-treatment .

)  The right to a fair trial: Many claims have been made to Jordan for the abolition of the State Security Court, since it does not meet the standards of fair trial.

 

General conclusions of the report:

First: The persistence of impunity: The Amnesty Law has contributed to the impunity of perpetrators of torture following the amnesty.

Second: The continued use of excessive force in arrests, peaceful sit-ins as carried out in the "teachers" sit-in, humiliating treatment and detention of persons for a long time without charge.

Third: administrative arrests and the use of return orders continued to expand without any legal or legislative controls and to subject them to the mood of public security personnel.

Forth: Persons suspected of minor drug offenses, such as abuse, and possession for the purpose of abuse, continued to be arrested for long periods.

Fifth: Insufficient policies, legislation and procedures applied at the national level to prevent torture.

Sixth: The absence of procedural and preventive safeguards guaranteeing the right of detainees deprived of their liberty to inform their families of the place and cause of their detention, or to contact a lawyer and a doctor immediately after their arrest.

Seventh: The absence of effective investigations: It should be ensured that leaders and other senior officials are held personally accountable in the case that their subordinates fail to prevent torture or ill-treatment.

Eighth: Ineffectiveness of training for law enforcement officials.

 

Recommendations

First: Executive Measures: 

 

Joining the optional protocol of the convention against torture (OPCAT) and the two optional protocols of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights related to abolishing the death punishment and the recognition of the specialization of the human rights committee in receiving complaints from individuals over the violations of the rights mentions in the convenient. 

Establishing a national fund for offering compensations to the victims and their families including financial compensations and offering rehabilitation to victims.

The necessity to implement highly professional training programs for the law enforcement personnel to ensure their compliance by the international standards of human rights; and passing these training programs should be one of the criteria for obtaining their work positions and evaluating their performance.

Review of the regulations and instructions governing prisons and detention centers to ensure that the services provided in them are upgraded and that the authorities of the investigating authorities are limited to those places.

Allow periodic visits to rehabilitation and rehabilitation centers by Jordanian civil society institutions

 

Second: In legislative measures

1. Amend the Penal Code by providing for the criminalization of all practices of torture and other inhuman, cruel and degrading treatment as follows:

2. Insert a clear and specific definition of each crime: Torture, inhuman treatment, cruel treatment and degrading treatment is consistent with the definition contained in the Convention against Torture.

3, determination of a deterrent punishment for the perpetrators of torture is commensurate with both the severity and seriousness of the act committed against the victim and the community, and the nature of the legal status of the perpetrator in whether he is a person charged with enforcing the law, or an ordinary person.

We propose the addition of the following text:

1. Any employee, or public servant who has ordered the torture of an accused person, or who has done so himself to make him confess shall be punished by Imprisonment for three to ten years , and if the victim dies, the penalty for murder is prescribed.

2. Any public official shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, and any person in charge of public service who has ordered the punishment of the sentenced person, or to punish him himself more severely than the penalty prescribed by law.

3. The criminal, civil and torture proceedings are not subject to statute limitations, and the State shall guarantee fair compensation for the victims of such violations.

C. Amendment of the types of penalties that the Court may impose; to include a wider range of alternatives to penalties of imprisonment.

D. Reducing the death penalty for crimes that are not considered more serious to society.

Amendments to the Code of Criminal Procedure include the following aspects:

1. Article 159 should be amended to read: "The testimony of the accused, the oppressors or the complainant shall be in the absence

Of the Prosecutor, admits that he has committed an offense that is accepted only if he has done so by his own will, and has repeated it before the Prosecutor, or the competent court, or he had performed it in the presence of his lawyer,"

2. Amendment of article 64 to allow the accused to have access to a lawyer in the preliminary (indicative) investigation. And amendment of the duties of the Prosecutor provided for in article 63 when the accused arrested Or detained in the security services to include a person's question as to whether he wishes to file a complaint of torture, We propose that the words "including preliminary investigation" be added after the words "attendance at all investigation proceedings" to article 64, paragraph 1. . We also propose that the words "ask him if he has a complaint, or claim that he has been tortured" be added after the words "prove his identity".

3. Add this text to paragraph (114) "if the Prosecutor decides to arrest the complainant, he shall be brought before a doctor for examination and a report on his health status shall be organized before being placed in the detention center."

4. Add an explicit text containing the invalidity of the testimony taken by means involving violence, however severe, and propose the addition of a paragraph to article 7, or article 159 containing it Whatever the severity, we propose to add a paragraph to article (7), or to article (159) containing: " The Court shall order the proceedings to be invalid if it is found that the statement made by the suspect or the accused, and in which he or she admits to committing an offense, has been taken by means involving violence, intimidation, whatever the severity, The court or its prosecutor must prosecute the organizers of the testimony, or the perpetrators of violence by the offense of torture."

5. Redrafting all the legal articles that are examined in the authority of the judicial officer to arrest, statement taking and the power of detention in the preliminary investigation stage.

6. Add a legal text allowing the detainee immediately after his arrest to contact a lawyer to appear with him at the stage of the preliminary investigation, as well as the right to contact his relatives and his doctor.

7. The shortening of the periods of detention provided for in the law, in crimes, clearly defining the reasons and obligations of arrest on objective grounds, instead of an interest-in-investigation criterion that allows for an expanded detention, pending trial, and makes it the rule, not the exception.

8. Development of texts containing acceptable standards, effective guarantees for the expeditious conduct of the investigation, its termination, referral to the court and duration of the trial proceedings for both the prosecution and the judiciary, Such as "the Prosecutor shall refer the case to the competent court within two weeks in the offenses, and a week in the misdemeanor calculated from the date of commencement of the investigation".

9. Development of a legal provision requiring the prosecution to investigate allegations of torture, regardless of who committed them.

10. Explicit provision for torture crimes to be dealt only by regular courts but no other courts.

11. Develop a system that allows execution of the penal penalty and associates it with the provisional release as one of the alternatives to the imprisonment.

 

       

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