We received word this weekend that Amer Jubran was finally granted a visit by family at the General Intelligence Directorate detention facility near Amman, Jordan this past Friday–seven weeks after he was arrested. He appeared to be in good health and his spirit remains strong.
While this news comes as a relief, we are gravely concerned that Amer continues to be detained without charges, in violation both of ‘Jordanian law’ and of international standards of human rights.
Amer’s detention is a political silencing. It is taking place in the context of new “anti-terrorism” legislation passed in Jordan on June 1, 2014 that criminalizes new categories of speech. According to the human rights organization Alkarama:
“Criticizing or caricaturing a foreign leader, or more generally a policy of a third country, also falls under the definition of terrorism. Thus, any person that has ‘disturbed relations with a foreign country’ can be prosecuted. … More importantly, if an act is qualified as an act of terrorism, authorities can then bring perpetrators of the real or supposed violations, before the State Security Court, an extraordinary jurisdiction. This court lacks independence as it is directly linked to the executive branch, and its members, including one military, are appointed by the Prime Minister.”
Such legislation is designed to protect the interests of US and Israeli political domination, and not the interests of the people of Jordan and the surrounding Arab region.
The Case of Amer Jubran
Amer is a Palestinian political activist who opposed the war making policies of the United States and Israel during his 18 year residence in the United States. Shortly after September 2001 he was harassed by US authorities, detained, and finally pushed out of the country. He returned to Jordan, his first country of exile, in 2004. This latest arrest is a continuation of the political repression Amer experienced in the United States.
We do not know if Israel or the US ordered Amer’s arrest, but it is clear that his detention is aimed at silencing a strong voice of dissent against their policies.
We call on all supporters to remain committed to the campaign to win Amer’s freedom. We will be sending out more information soon about next steps.