FIDH condemns the sentence against Toujan al-Faisal

17/05/2002
Report

The FIDH expresses deep concern about the condemnation to 18 months prison of Toujan Al-Faisal, former Member of the Jordanian Parliament. This condemnation sanctions only her legitimate exercise of freedom of expression: she was judged after she wrote a letter accusing the Jordanian Prime Minister of financial wrongdoing.

The FIDH is very concerned with the fact that she was sentenced according to the temporary updates of the State Security Court’s legislation in Jordan. As a matter of fact, Toujan Al- Faisal cannot appeal from the sentence. The FIDH calls on Jordanian authorities to withdraw from the anti-terrorist law adopted in September 2001, allowing for restriction of freedom of expression and for judgment under State Security Courts by military judges. These courts do not provide sufficient guarantees of independence and impartiality as guaranteed among others by article 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights article 14 of the international Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by Jordan.

The FIDH finally urges Jordan to ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with international human rights standards.

Reminder of facts : Toujan Al- Faisal, Jordan’s first female lawmaker is known for her criticism of the government and Muslim extremism during her 1993-1997 term in Parliament. She was charged after that she wrote an open letter to Jordan’s King Abdullah II, accusing Prime Minister Abul-Ragheb of financial wrongdoing. Faisal was detained March 16 before she was released on bail and re-arrested. She was charged with fours counts, including publishing false and exaggerated information that harmed the reputation of and damaged the dignity of the Jordanian government, contempt of judicial authorities and public administration, and mocking the Islamic faith by insulting a mosque preacher and inciting disturbances and killings.

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