"They put out their cigarettes on my hand, beat me with sticks on my
body...then hit me on the feet continuously for three hours... I told
him I was ready to say anything he wanted, so they carried me on a
stretcher, as I was unable to walk, back to the interrogation offices." - Usama Abu Hazeem
Jordan detains and tortures political and security suspects. Its military security agency – the General Intelligence Department – uses torture methods such as the "falaqa" – beating the soles of the feet with a stick, and the "shabeh" (phantom) - suspension from handcuffed wrists for several hours and then beatings.
The "confessions” then extracted appear to be regularly used as evidence before a Special Security Court that has so far failed to properly investigate any of the 100 allegations of torture submitted over the last 10 years. Some suspects have even been executed on the basis of “confessions” extracted under torture.
Perhaps unsurprisingly therefore, Jordan seems to have become a central hub in the global complex of secret detention centres operated in coordination with foreign intelligence agencies as part of the “war on terror”. At least 10 of the individuals tortured or otherwise ill-treated appear to be victims of the US-led "rendition” programme.
The UK has signed a "memorandum of understanding" with the Jordanian authorities that supposedly provides "diplomatic assurances" that certain Jordanian nationals will not be tortured if the UK forcibly sends them to Jordan. Given the complicity of Jordanian authorities in the practice of torture however, any such agreements are clearly not worth the paper they are written on.
The Jordanian government has a responsibility to maintain public safety and bring to justice any perpetrators of attacks on civilians, but it is legally bound to do so without resorting to torture and other ill-treatment.