Authorities deny reports of hunger strike by Bassem Awadallah

Bassem Awadallah in jail
(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Jordanian authorities have denied reports that Bassem Awadallah, former finance minister and chief of the royal court, has been on a hunger strike in his cell.اضافة اعلان

Awadallah, who was arrested in April 2021 and later charged with incitement against the state, has reportedly not eaten his meals since Monday. However, a statement from the Jordanian Public Security Directorate (PSD) called the reports "inaccurate allegations".

The statement confirmed that Awadallah refused his meals on Monday morning but had eaten his breakfast and lunch the previous day. The PSD also stated that Awadallah had not submitted a written statement declaring his intent to go on a hunger strike, as required by Jordanian law and procedures, according to Jo24.

Mistreatment in custodyAwadallah's US attorney released a statement on Monday saying that his client had started a hunger strike in protest of his imprisonment and requested that the US government return him to the US as an American citizen.

The statement also alleged that Awadallah had been subjected to "physical, psychological, and emotional torture" while in custody in Jordan, and had spent “his entire 22-month detention in solitary confinement”.

Jordan's PSD has also denied these allegations, saying that Awadallah has not been mistreated in any way and that allegations of torture of any kind are "patently false".

In a statement, the PSD’s Rehabilitation and Correction Centers Department said that Awadallah was "guaranteed due process, in accordance with Jordanian laws and regulations", and that he "has not been mistreated in any way".

The statement added that Awadallah's "statements to the court during his trial were given voluntarily with no coercion".

Awadallah was convicted of incitement against the political regime and engaging in actions that would threaten the safety and security of society and create sedition. He was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in what has become known as the "sedition case".

The directorate added that Awadallah's meals are prepared under "strict health supervision by specialized doctors to ensure that he remains in good health", and that he undergoes periodic medical examinations.

Awadallah is also said to have the ability to communicate with his lawyer in Jordan at all times, and to receive visits from his relatives and friends. The US consul also visits Awadallah periodically "as a person of American citizenship".

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