Report: Jordan weak on civil rights

Human rights in Jordan are good in some areas but weak in others, particularly where civil and political rights are concerned, a report of the National Centre for Human Rights says.

    A rights body says Jordanian police use torture

    "Human rights in Jordan are good as far as plans and general policies are concerned, satisfactory in the field of economics, culture and society but weak where civil and political rights are concerned," said the independent body. 

    The NCHR report, which covers the period from June 2003 to December 2004, criticised the election law used in the June 2003 polls, based on individual seats rather than party lists.
      
    "This one-man one-vote law had negative implications on the democratic process in the country because it weakened the chance of political parties getting their candidates in parliament," the report said.

    Flawed elections

    The law also "limited freedom of choice, strengthened tribal affiliations and contradicted principles of equality and justice in representation," it added.

    "Human rights in Jordan are good as far as plans and general policies are concerned, satisfactory in the field of economics, culture and society but weak where civil and political rights are concerned"

    Report of the National Centre for Human Rights

    The report also charged that appointments to high government posts "lack transparency and objectivity and are based on nepotism".
      
    Furthermore it said the centre received more than 250 complaints in 2004 from citizens who charged that the security forces, including the police and criminal investigators, were using "torture" to extract testimonies from suspects.

    "The relationship between [people and security forces] is still based on fear and suspicion despite efforts and calls to build trust between the two," said the report, published on the NCHR website.
      
    A majority of journalists questioned by the centre said their freedoms were limited, citing pressure, interference from the authorities, censorship and arbitrary arrests.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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