Document - Jordan: Further information: Protester released, many still detained

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FU UA: 357/12 Index: MDE 16/005/2012 Jordan Date: 21 December 2012


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PROTESTER RELEASED, MANY STILL DETAINED

Adnan al-Howeish was released after being denied specialized medical attention for over a month. Sixty-year-old Abd al-Rahman Fanatsa and his sons Daoud and 16-year-old Hamza were arrested on 19 November. They were also accused of demonstrating against fuel subsidy cuts with the aim of “disrupting public order”.

Abd al-Rahman Fanatsa and his sons were arrested by Criminal Investigation Department (CID) and Gendarmerie (Darak) officers, while they were collecting olives from their farm in Ma’an in southern Jordan. They say that they were beaten on arrest and during the journey to the police station in Ma’an where they were then blindfolded and whipped with electric cables. The next day, Hamza Fanatsa was released without charge, while Abd al-Rahman and Da’oud Fanatsa were transferred to a police station in Amman where they signed statements that they were reportedly not allowed to read. On 21 November they were transferred to al-Hashimiyeh prison, south-east of Amman. Family members who visited them in prison said their bodies bore the marks of beatings and that Da'oud had great difficulty in standing. They were charged under laws prohibiting gatherings aimed at “disrupting public order” though their lawyer said there was no evidence that they were involved in protests.


According to his family, Abd al-Rahman Fanatsa suffers from schizophrenia. Soon after his arrest he was given an alternative to his usual medication for his condition and this apparently led him to experience severe headaches.


Adnan al-Howeish had been arrested two days earlier on 17 November, following his participation in a peaceful protest against economic conditions. He was denied the specialized medical attention he urgently needed and was released on bail on 19 December having been charged under Article 149 of the Penal Code with ”activities aimed at changing the political system”, carrying a sentence of up to 15 years, and for participating in a protest with the aim of “disrupting public order”, carrying a sentence of up to three years. All three men, as well as dozens of others arrested in connection with protests in November, face trial by the State Security Court (SSC), whose proceedings fall far short of international standards of fair trial.


Please write immediately in Arabic, English or your own language:

  • Calling on the authorities to ensure Abd al-Rahman Fanatsa is promptly given all necessary medical treatment and that he and all those detained since protests against cuts in fuel subsidies began in November are not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment;

  • Calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Abd al-Rahman and Daoud Fanatsa, if they are being held solely on suspicion of exercising their right to peaceful assembly.


PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 01 FEBRUARY 2012 TO:

Minister of Interior

His Excellency Awad Khleifat

Ministry of Interior

PO Box 100

Amman, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Fax: +962 6 560 6908

Email: info@moi.gov.jo

Salutation: Your Excellency


Minister of Justice

His Excellency Ghaleb Zu’bi

Ministry of Justice

PO Box 6040

Amman, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Fax: +962 6 464 3197

Salutation: Your Excellency




And copies to:

Minister of Foreign Affairs

His Excellency Nasser Judeh

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

PO Box 35217

Amman, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Fax: +962 6 573 5163

Email: mofa@fm.gov.jo

Also send copies to diploatic representatives accredited to your country.


Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date. This is the first update of UA 357/12. Further information: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/MDE16/004/2012/en

URGENT ACTION

Protester released, many still detained

ADditional Information

Adnan al-Howeish was detained after he participated in a peaceful demonstration against a government decision to cut fuel price subsidies, in Zeiban, northern Jordan, on 16 November. He suffered a serious injury to his left eye resulting in a cut in the centre of the eye with the eyeball protruding from the socket after he was hit with a stone during the protest during which – according to witnesses - masked government supporters threw stones at the protesters. Adnan al-Howeish was placed in police custody on 17 November at al-Bashir hospital, Amman, where he was handcuffed to the hospital bed. Following an appeal by the official National Centre for Human Rights (NCHR) he was allowed surgery on 18 November to repair the cut and restore the eyeball to its original position. His doctor recommended treatment for his eye injury in a centre specializing in eye injuries. He was later taken to al-Balqa’ prison in Salt, where prison authorities only agreed to admit him after police apparently obtained another medical report from the Salt Government Hospital saying he was fit for detention. From there he was transferred to Ramemeen prison in al-Barqa'a. His family’s requests for him to see eye specialists for urgent treatment appeared to go unheeded and he may have lost the sight in his left eye.


The authorities arrested 300 people following widespread protests against the proposed fuel subsidy cuts during November 2012. Many were held solely for participation in peaceful protests. Dozens were beaten at the protests and in police detention, and were denied immediate access to legal representation, relatives and medical treatment as required. According to the NCHR, they interviewed 67 people who said they were arrested not from protests but in front of their homes, at work, or when they happened to be in the vicinity of a protest. The NCHR also said that the Public Security Directorate had acknowledged that 50 children were arrested in connection with the protests, 12 of whom appeared before the SSC prosecutor and were released on bail days after their arrests. One lawyer told Amnesty International that at least nine children released on 19 November 2012 reportedly made statements to the police without the presence of a lawyer, parent or other appropriate adult.


The protests took place throughout the country, particularly in Amman, Zarqa, Irbid, Salt, Tafileh and Ma’an. The authorities say they arrested people for carrying out criminal offences during demonstrations, including damaging and destroying private and public property and calling for “regime change”. While individuals at some demonstrations apparently carried out violent acts, which in some instances resulted in damage or destruction of private and public buildings, Jordanian activists and lawyers say that security forces, some in plain clothes violently dispersed many peaceful demonstrations, firing tear gas and beating protesters. One civilian and two police officers were killed in the context of the protests.

As of 20 December 34 people arrested in connection with the protests were still held, despite a royal decree on 10 December ordering the release of all but 13 of them. Dozens of those arrested following the mass protests face trial by the SSC, a special court presided over by a majority of military judges. Amnesty International has repeatedly called for the abolition of the court and for the Jordanian authorities to respect the right to voice peaceful criticism of the government, including calls to change the system of government by peaceful means expressed during peaceful gatherings or demonstrations which are forms of expression protected by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Jordan is a state party. Read more at http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE16/003/2012/en.


Name: Adnan al-Howeish, ‘Abd al-Rahman Fanatsa, Daoud Fanatsa, Hamza Fanatsa

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Further information on UA: 357/12 Index: MDE 16/005/2012 Issue Date: 21 December 2012

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