Hundreds of detainees to be released

(Photo: JNews)
Amman — Hundreds of administrative detainees are about to spend the holy month of Ramadan with their families after the recent governmental decision to release 661 of them before April 13. اضافة اعلان

The decision has been positively received on social media after was announced yesterday, especially in light of the negative economic and social situations Jordanians have been facing during the COVID-19 pandemic onset.

The decision will apply only to administrative detainees who are not classified as dangerous persons and were taken into custody during security campaigns, according to a press statement from Minister of Interior Mazen Al-Faraya. "This decision came after all their files were thoroughly inspected to ensure that the release does not pose a threat to their lives, security, or society," the Minister said.

"This is a corrective step to overcome previous decisions," Hala Ahed, a lawyer and human rights defender, said to Jordan News. "Administrative detention decisions had depended on unconstitutional laws, confiscate personal rights, and provide no guarantees for those who are detained. Accordingly, I fully agree with this decision."

"New procedures and legislations should be enacted too to reduce or even delete any measures that are not in conformity with civil rights," Ahed Added. "The authorities of the administrative governors should be very limited, too."

The human rights defender summarized that if someone commits a crime, he should be sent to court where he has the normal jurisdiction and guarantees of a fair trial.

Jamil Al-Nimri, a former member of Parliament, told Jordan News that the decision is important and timely. "It helps in the reduction of the burden and load on prisons, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.

He said the decision gives the detainees the chance to become better persons, and continued, "It is not proven that administrative detention is a real deterrent that prevents or stops people from committing crimes; in the contrary, they may commit more crimes," he said.

The former MP agreed that electronic bracelets, for example, could be used to monitor and restrict the detainees' movements. This way, authorities could "free [detainees] of prisons yet control their movements to make sure that their release does not pose a serious threat to society.”

"I stand with freeing only those who deserve to be free and released," said Mohammad Al Malkawi, a political, security, and media adviser and analyst in remarks to  Jordan News. "Yet, I actually want some other administrative detainees to be sent to court where they get the normal jurisdiction and the judgment they deserve. The court can easily decide whether they deserve to be released or not," he stated.

On Monday, the Parliamentary Public Freedoms and Human Rights Committee discussed the issue of administrative detention and the crime prevention law was discussed. The Committee called for a review of the issue of house arrest and how to follow up and monitor the detainees, without needing to attend security centers.