Site Navigation

Arrest of Political Activists and Legalization of “Martial Laws”

22. February 2004

Amman, Jordan, February 22, 2004

On the evening of Wednesday February 11, 2004, the political activist Ali Sneid was arrested from the bus terminal in his village Mleih in Madaba, Jordan. He is still arrested until now without knowing where he is, who arrested him, or the charges he was arrested upon.

This is not the first time such arrests and under such conditions occur, and we think that these kinds of arrests made on activists fighting for the dignity of the people and against injustice, tyranny and corruption will not will continue proving the continuous violations of the peoples` rights and a violation of the constitution that guarantees a person`s right to freedom of expression, organization and assembly.

And in an obscene practice that aims at indefinitely sustaining the status of “Martial Laws” as a continuous status, the government has formulated its oppressive procedures into the so called “temporary laws” (211 passed in the last two years in the absence of parliament), or by passing them through a weak parliament that was the result of another temporary law designed so that the true representation of people will never be made.

The undersigned, as they greet the memory of the Abdelfattah Tolestan who died under torture on the 24th of February 1962, portray their deep concern on Ali Sneid, especially that there were recent incidents of people dying under torture (the cases of Ajarmeh, Smadi and Fanatsah), in addition to the eye witness accounts of many political activists who were imprisoned on their arrest conditions (the reports on Jweideh prison and others).

The undersigned demand the following:

1. The immediate release of Ali Sneid.

2. The immediate release of all those arrested on political or opinion accounts.

3. The immediate stop of the all practices aimed at “horrifying” political activists like night raids, prevention from work, requests for interrogation ..etc

4. Opening an extensive investigation on torture in prisons and referral of all those involved to the courts.

5. Withdrawal of all unconstitutional temporary laws, and abiding to the constitution as the source of the peoples` rights.

6. Elimination of all barriers restricting freedom of speech and other public freedoms, and cancelling censorship on newspapers and publications, and revising the “Public Assemblies Law” (better termed “Prevention of Public Assemblies Law”) which was passed by the parliament recently.

The Undersigned (selected out of 75 signers until now)

1- Toujan Faisal, former MP
2- Laith Shubailat, former MP
3- Saleh Armouti, Former President of the Bar Association
4- Tayseer Kan`an, former Minister of Justice and former Judge
5- Hani Khasawneh, former Ambassador and former Minister of Information
6- Hani Al-Dahleh, President of the Arab Organization for Human Rights in Jordan
7- Riad Al-Nawayseh, former MP
8- Fahad Al-Rimawai, Editor of “Al-Majd” weekly newspaper
9- Amneh Al-Zo`bi, President of the Jordanian Women Union
10- Mowaffaq Mahadin, Editorial Manager of “Al-Wehda” weekly newspaper
11- Mazen Reyal, Secretary General of the Jordanian Arab Party
12- Abdulla Hammoudeh, Secretary of the Democratic Thought Forum
13- Yakoob Zayadeen, former Secretary General of the Workers Communist Party
14- Hisham Bustani, Executive Board of the Socialist Thought Forum
15- Fawzi Samhouri, President of Citizens Rights Society (currently banned)
16- Maysara Malas, President of the Liberties Committee of the Engineers Association
17- Tareq Kayyali, Secretary General of Nationalist Action Front Party
18- Adna Al-Asmar, former President of al-Baq`a Club
19- Nash`at Hamarneh, former MP
20- Hakem Al-Fayez, President of the National Mobilization Committee for the Defence of Iraq
21- Jamal Al-Shawaheen, Editor of “Al-Meethaq” weekly newspaper
22- Mash`al Sneid, retired General
23- Mahmood Nowaihi, Secretary General of the Nationalist Movement Party