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Arabic press review: Jordanian security forces accused of systematic torture

A human rights group warns that torture is going unpunished, while three Kuwaiti officials get caught up in corruption
A Jordanian army convoy of vehicles drive towards the eastern border of Jordan shared with Iraq. (Reuters)

Human rights centre says torture systematic in Jordan

An Amman-based human rights group has accused the Jordanian security services of systematically torturing people, according to the London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi.

In its second annual report, Adaleh Centre for Human Rights said: "Torture in Jordan is practised systematically and continuously. Physical and psychological abuse is continuously resorted to so as to extract and obtain information."

No official accused of torture has been punished for it by law, the report said.

According to the report, those responsible for doing so – for instance the investigative bodies, prosecution and courts – do not have the necessary independence to carry out their task.

They are all affiliated to Jordan’s Public Security Directorate (PSD), as are those accused of torturing people, the report said.

Lawyer Salem al-Mefleh, an Adaleh Centre member responsible for following up on torture cases, said that 33 incidents have taken place from 2013 to 2015, increasing to 80 cases in detention centres from 2016 to 2018, according to al-Quds al-Arabi.

He added that "the crimes of torture are surrounded with silence and take place inside closed places in isolation from the outside world," noting that "the most prominent difficulties in cases of torture occur during investigations and trials, as the victims’ lawyers are prevented from having a look into preliminary investigations."

Kuwaiti officials head to court over corruption

Kuwait’s Anti-Corruption Authority has referred three senior government officials to the public prosecutor's office in order to begin proceedings against them, according to the Kuwaiti daily newspaper al-Rai.

The newspaper reported that one of the three officials is an undersecretary, with no reference to his identity or the charges he is about to face before the court.

A spokesman for the Anti-Corruption Authority, Mohammed Abdul Rahman Bouzaber, said that the case was based on a declaration made by the minister of state for services, Janan Bushehri.

After the authority investigated and became convinced there was a reasonable basis to suspect that embezzlement or intentional or unintentional damage had been done with public funds, the defendants were referred to the prosecution.

* Arabic press review is a digest of reports that are not independently verified as accurate by Middle East Eye.