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Committee deplores detention of human rights lawyer

NCHR
(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Coordination Committee for Civil Society Organizations (Himam) said that recent measures taken by the National Center for Human Rights (NCHR) undermine its independence, limit its role in combating human rights violations, and intimidate activists and defenders, AmmanNet reported Saturday.اضافة اعلان

In a statement, Himam described last week’s decision to detain lawyer Nisreen Zureikat, who is a commissioner at the center, and another administrator, as a form of punishment that contravenes an individual’s the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

Himam expressed its regret and concern after following up on the latest developments in Zureikat’s case, which culminated in the issuance of an arrest warrant against her. Zureikat is a human rights defender who is a highly respected public figure and who was honored by the UN as an exceptional human rights defender. She and a member of the center’s administrative staff were charged by the Public Prosecutor for allegedly receiving money while they were involved in a legal aid project funded by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation. It is claimed that the disbursement of the honorariums was based on a decision by the NCHR Commissioner-General Alaa Al-Armouti, as permitted by its internal bylaw. Armouti was not detained but was prevented from travelling.

Himam described what happened as unjustified procedures after the NCHR’s chairman referred the file to the Public Prosecutor.

It said that the decision was taken despite the fact that an investigation committee that was formed by the Board of Trustees had not completed its work, nor were those accused of the alleged acts allowed to submit a defense.

Himam reiterated that what happened to Zureikat and her colleague is part of a campaign aimed at undermining the independence of the role of NCHR and to dissuade its workers from their mission of defending rights and freedoms.

It affirmed its confidence in the Jordanian judiciary.

Himam announced its rejection of the pre-trial detentions and warned of its repercussions and impact on workers in the field of monitoring human rights violations in particular.


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