Saturday, July 29, 2006

Jordan Is "Central Hub" of Secret Detention Centers

JURIST, one of my favorite reference sites, came out with a report on Monday that Jordan is a very important ally of the United States. According to a report from Amnesty International. it’s a "central hub" in a global complex of secret detention centers allegedly operated by the CIA and other foreign intelligence agencies. This map indicates that Jordan is one of several countries that Amnesty International identified that has a suspected CIA "black site".

There is so much information in Amnesty International’s report that it would be impossible to cover all of it with the rest of the posts left in Blogathon 2006, so I will concentrate on some of the parts relating to torture. Jordan’s General Intelligence Department (GID) allegedly has performed the following acts of torture on detainees held for interrogation. The most common abuses are:

- beatings, including being punched and kicked;
- beatings with sticks, cables, plastic pipes, rope or whips;
- severe and prolonged beatings upon arrival at a detention centre;
- beatings while made to run around a courtyard;
- "falaqa" – whereby the soles of the victim’s feet are repeatedly beaten with a stick, often while the victim is in a fixed, uncomfortable position;
- humiliation, for example being stripped in front of others, or being made to behave like a particular animal;
- being forced to stand in painful positions for prolonged periods – such as on one leg with both hands in the air;
- sleep deprivation;
- being threatened with extreme violence, for example, with rape, with electric shocks, with being attacked by dogs;
- being threatened that one’s family members will be sexually or physically abused;
- being insulted;
- being kept for prolonged periods in incommunicado detention – without visits from family members or a lawyer and often without the family being told of one’s arrest;
- being kept in prolonged solitary confinement.

In the nine-part report, Amnesty International is calling on Jordan to do the following immediately:

  • End the use of incommunicado detention;
  • Curtail the powers of the GID and ensure a separation of powers, in law and in practice, between the authorities responsible for the detention of suspects and those responsible for their interrogation;
  • Investigate, promptly and independently, all allegations of torture or other ill-treatment and bring to justice any officials who commit such human rights violations;
  • Cease Jordan’s participation in renditions and other secret transfers of prisoners and victims of enforced disappearance and disclose publicly the names and other details of all those who have been detained in or transferred through Jordan in this context;
  • Ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OP CAT) which came into force on 22 June 2006, and commit to permitting independent monitoring of all places of detention as required under the provisions of this protocol.

There is a lot more to this lengthy but damning report. It will likely take a half-hour or more to read but it’s worth checking out. One thing that you will take away from it is that there is an eerie resemblance between things Amnesty International has accused Jordan of doing and what the Bush administration is trying to do with the War Crimes Act of 1996.

Click here to read Amnesty International’s report titled Jordan, "Your confessions are ready for you to sign" Detention and torture of political suspects.


Blogger The Heathlander said...

Brilliant post robbie - possibly your best so far.

Jordan's human rights record is absolutely appalling - even Alan Dershowitz admits they engage in widespread torture.

It seems they too benefit from US military aid. In 2004, they recieved $400 million in military articles and services (

Is anyone starting to notice a pattern here...?

4:40 PM  
Blogger Per said...

Massa Jamie: remember checking #8?

4:46 PM  
Blogger The Heathlander said...

Oh yeh - sorry per, my memory is bad at the best of time but at 00:42...I'll do it right away!

4:47 PM  
Blogger Ingrid said...

Wow, bravo Robbie. Patterns are so telling, if only we know where to look and how to recognize them.. oh I know..follow the money!!

4:49 PM  
Blogger Dr. Strangelove said...

Robbie, great post. With friend like Jordan, who needs...umm...terrorists.

4:50 PM  
Blogger The Heathlander said...

Ingrid - good to hear from you!

per - OK, I've made a few very minor corrections, and it's all good now.

4:51 PM  
Blogger Dr. Strangelove said...

Heathlander, you can put me down for another post at 8 pm

4:56 PM  
Blogger The Heathlander said...

Great - cheers Mash. My Dershowitz post is almost ready!!! I'll take the 8.30 slot, if nobody minds.

5:00 PM  
Blogger The Heathlander said...

Hmm, actually no-one's down for 7.30, so I'll take that one.

5:02 PM  
Blogger El Mas Chingón said...

Thanks, guys!

5:09 PM  
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12:33 AM  

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