Palestinian activist Amer Jubran – with a long history of activism and leadership, and repression and deportation by the U.S. government – is now facing 10 years in Jordanian prison after a conviction on dubious evidence in an unfair trial with no due process, after charges of helping the Lebanese and Palestinian resistance.
Mr. Jubran was charged in August, 2014 under a new Jordanian law that makes “harming the relationship with a foreign government” a crime of “terrorism,” further demonstrating the political nature of his arrest and imprisonment.
On Wednesday, July 29, Amer Jubran was sentenced by Jordan’s State Security Court along with 8 other defendants. The rest of the defendants were given sentences of 2-3 years; for his refusal to cooperate, he was singled out for excessive punishment, and given a 15 year sentence (reduced by his lawyers to 10 years). The verdict comes after 15 months in detention–the first 3 months without charges.
It has been clear from the outset that Amer was targeted for his activism and political speech on behalf of Palestine. The lengthy proceedings before the State Security Court were a sham trial, before a court with no political independence, acting as a rubber-stamp for the GID (General Intelligence Directorate).
For full information and actions on Amer Jubran’s case, please see the Free Amer Campaign.
TAKE ACTION! Amer Jubran’s support campaign has called for an email and fax campaign to Jordanian officials, particularly Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al Hussein, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Use the following emails and fax numbers, or click here to sign the Campaign’s sample letter online and send it directly!
Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al Hussein
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Fax: (41 22) 917 0008 (If faxing from US: 011-41-22-917-0008)
Prime Minister and Defense Minister
Fax number 962-6-464-2520 (If faxing from US: 011-962-6-464-2520)
Minister of Interior
Fax number 962-6-560-6908 (If faxing from US: 011-962-6-560-6908)
Minister of Justice
Fax number 962-6-464-3197 If faxing from US: 011-962-6-464-3197)
Dear UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al Hussein:
I am writing to ask that you intervene immediately in the case Amer Jubran of Jordan, who was sentenced on July 29th to ten years in prison by Jordan’s State Security Court.
Amer Jubran was arrested on May 5, 2014 and detained for over two months without contact with lawyers or family, in violation of Article 9 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. A petition against arbitrary detention was filed on his behalf with the OHCHR on July 2, 2014. Mr. Jubran is an internationally known activist, speaker and writer on the rights of Palestinians and against US and Israeli policies in the Arab world. His detention and trial by the GID conforms to a pattern of repression carried out by the government of Jordan against Jordanians who criticize these policies. Such prosecution violates Article 19 of the ICCPR, guaranteeing freedom of opinion and expression.
Mr. Jubran was charged in August, 2014 under a new law that makes “harming the relationship with a foreign government” a crime of “terrorism,” further demonstrating the political nature of his arrest and imprisonment. The wording of this law is so vague that it criminalizes a broad range of political activities including journalism.
Mr. Jubran’s trial under this law, enacted one month after his arrest, also constitutes a violation of Article 15 of the ICCPR, which stipulates, “No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute a criminal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed. Nor shall a heavier penalty be imposed than the one that was applicable at the time when the criminal offence was committed.”
Mr. Jubran was tried before Jordan’s State Security Court, a military tribunal that fails to meet even minimum standards of judicial independence. Proceedings before the SCC violate Article 14 of the ICCPR, which guarantees “everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law.” Mr. Jubran maintains that his defense team effectively proved all “terrorism” charges against him false and that the verdict of the SCC was reached without regard for evidence. His conviction and harsh sentencing were an act of retaliation for his refusal to work as an infiltrator and informant for the GID–a violation of his fundamental right to freedom of conscience and political opinion, Articles 18 and 19 of the ICCPR.
In your acceptance speech at your confirmation as the UN High Commissioner by the General Assembly last year, you spoke of your commitment to push forward the issue of human rights on the Asian continent. Such a commitment can only be taken seriously if you are willing to begin at home. Jordan is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. As Human Rights Commissioner and a Jordanian, you have a responsibility to oppose the well known human rights violations of Jordan’s General Intelligence Directorate and State Security Court. The unjust verdict and sentence against Amer Jubran must be overturned immediately.