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Jordan ratifies agreement with US on nonsurrender to ICC

[JURIST] The lower house of Jordan's parliament on Sunday approved an agreement with the US which will prohibit the country from handing over Americans accused of violating international criminal law to the International Criminal Court (ICC) [official website]. The decision was met with intense opposition by the Islamic Action Front [official website in Arabic], Jordan's largest political party, and human rights groups. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch [advocacy websites] say that the measure, which had already been approved by the upper house of parliament, sets a dangerous precedent for other countries, and claim Jordan is in violation of the ICC's Rome Statute [PDF text]. Despite the opposition, Jordan ratified the Article 98 Agreement [US State Dept. backgrounder] largely in order to continue receiving financial aid from the US, which is Jordan's primary financial donor giving a total of $250 million last year. Three independent Jordanian deputies withdrew from the chamber during the vote, calling it "an infringement of their country's sovereignty." IRIN has more. The Jordan Times has local coverage.

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