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Jordan 'central hub' of extraordinary rendition: Amnesty report

[JURIST] Jordan [JURIST news archive] is a "central hub in a global complex of secret detention centers" allegedly operated by the US Central Intelligence Agency [official website] and foreign intelligence agencies, according to an Amnesty International [advocacy website] report [text; press release] written by Malcolm Smart, the director of Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa unit. The report identifies at least 10 suspected cases of alleged extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] where detainees were removed from US custody and sent to interrogation centers in Jordan, and also alleges that security agents in Jordan torture terror suspects on behalf of the US to obtain forced confessions.

Amnesty reports that during the past 10 years, there have been complaints from over 100 defendants in terrorism-related trials alleging torture by Jordan's General Intelligence Department (GID) [official website] and that GID receives secret funding from the US government. Amnesty also reports that after GID obtains forced confessions from detainees, the cases proceed to the State Security Court, where judgments are often made solely on the forced confessions obtained by GID. Amnesty called on Jordan to stop holding detainees in secret, abolish the independent powers of GID, and to investigate allegations of torture and extraordinary rendition. Last month, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak [official website] told a press conference that Jordan should criminalize torture and end the use of special courts [JURIST report] that protect accused police and intelligence officials. AP has more.

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