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UN rights investigator says torture routine in Jordan

[JURIST] UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak [official profile, DOC; JURIST news archive] said Tuesday that torture is systematic and widespread in Jordan, especially when used to elicit confessions from suspected terrorists. Nowak found the practice of torture [JURIST news archive] to be routine at the General Intelligence Directorate (GID) [official website], the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Public Security Directorate, as well as Al-Jafr Correction and Rehabilitation Centre. According to Nowak, practices such as beatings with truncheons, batons, electrical cables and broom handles, burning detainees with cigarettes and forcing them to hold painful positions are accepted torture methods in detention centers. Nowak called on the Jordanian government to investigate and prosecute all claims of torture and to amend domestic laws and the constitution in order to ban torture. The UN Human Rights Council [official website] also plans to review Nowak's report. Reuters has more.

In June 2006, Nowak recommended [JURIST report] that Jordan criminalize torture and end the use of special courts that protect accused police and intelligence officials, following the conclusion of his two-day visit to Jordan [JURIST news archive]. At that time, he also found evidence that torture is systematically practiced at the two detention centers in Amman run by the GID and the CID as well as Al-Jafr prison, but he claimed that officials at both centers obstructed his investigation through denying access to areas of the prison and hiding evidence.

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