The Commission of the National Center of Human Rights Alaa Armoti said that the center will widen the work of the center to protect the freedom of expression using the King’s words as their defense weapons.
Armoti said in a meeting with HIMAM the coalition of civil society organizations “we will not allow the reduction of the independence of the National Centre for Human Rights and we will continue to fight to protect and defend this independence.”
The commission conceded that there is a feeling of a retraction in freedoms in the country and called on all to work together to stop this retraction. The commission warned that the experience of other countries that have given up on human rights have lived through bitter divisions and difficulties and the situation became uncontrollable.
Armoti welcomed the chance to work together with Himam and all civil society organizations saying “our hands are open to all” and that the relations with civil society will be part of the strategic plan of the center and not a temporary decision. He said incoming complains will be given priority and legal follow up, he also said that the center will be developing a database to keep track.
Regarding recent gag orders, Armoti criticized the decision to bar the public from knowing what is happening saying that he met the attorney general and agreed with him that the gag order should be limited only to the minutes of interrogations.
Special attention will be given to the annual report issued by the center and specialized reports will also be issued throughout the year. Armoti said, “we have met with the committee that produced the report and I stressed to them that our reports must be very strong, impactful yet simply for all people to understand.” He also said that the organizational chart of the center must be revised.
Armoti said he doesn’t understand why so many governmental institutions were paralyzed during the pandemic insisting that there is no excuse for delay or stopping of justice during a pandemic but that the opposite is required. Armoti also noted that the absence of the parliament weakened the mechanism for monitoring and accountability of the government.
Members of the Himam coalition had praised the choice of Armoti as commission of the national center for human rights insisting that the center is a key institution for human right work in the country. They said that the stronger the center is the stronger that civil society organizations' efforts to defend rights become. They called on the center to be the refuge for human rights defenders.
Himam members stressed importance of regular meetings and exchanges of information with the national center and the need to work together on collecting information about human rights violations. They also called for joint activities whenever possible.
Himam is a coalition of 16 active Jordanian NGOs that was established in 2015. Its members include: Arab Women’s Society, Solidarity is Global Institute- Jordan, Rasheed (Transparency International-Jordan), Community Media Network, Lawyers without Borders, Afaq Center Jordan for development and training, Al Hayyat center for civil society development-Rased, Adel Legal Aid Center, Phenix Center for economic and informational Studies, Tamkeen Center for legal aid and human rights, Center for the Defense and Protection of Journalists, Adallah center for human rights studies, Ardd - Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development, Ruwwad Center for Development, Leaders of Tomorrow and Ahel Center.