HRW calls Jordan to stop torture in jails
Human Rights Watch said in a new report on Wednesday that torture continues to be "routine and widespread" in Jordanian jails, and claimed that some prison bosses have personally abused inmates. The New York-based watchdog called on the government to prosecute abusers and said nations which provide aid to Jordan should condition part of their assistance on the establishment of investigation and prosecution mechanisms.
"Jordan should end routine and widespread torture in its prisons," it said.
In its 95-page report, HRW acknowledged that authorities in the kingdom had tried to reform the prison system but insisted that the efforts were insufficient. "Torture in Jordan's prison system is widespread even two years after King Abdullah called for reforms to stop it once and for all," said HRW Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson.
"The mechanisms for preventing torture by holding torturers accountable are simply not working." The report documents what it described as "credible allegations of ill-treatment, often amounting to torture," from 66 out of 110 prisoners interviewed in 2007 and 2008 in seven of 10 prisons visited.
Forms of torture used include "beatings with cables and sticks and the suspension by the wrists from metal grates for hours at a time, during which guards flog a defenceless prisoner," HRW said.
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