General: Jordan: Freedom for Jordanian activist Sumaya Abu Nabaa

02.08.22

On 31 July 2022, the North Amman Court has decided to extend the detention of woman human rights defender Sumaya Abu Nabaa for an additional week in Juwaida prison in the capital, Amman. A member of the "National Forum for Defending Freedoms", human rights lawyer Malik Abu Orabi, said that "the security services brought the activist while she was tied with her hands and feet, and she was surrounded by heavy security." He added: “The judge refused to submit a bail request to release the activist Abu Nabaa, and requested to postpone the submission of the request until next week.”

Hunger-striking activist Abu Nabaa was arrested last week on 26 July 2022 after she was summoned on the pretext of a complaint against her. She was presented before the Public Prosecutor of North Amman, who decided to arrest her for a week in Marka Prison on charges of spreading false news that undermines the prestige of the state. The arrest is linked to a post she published on social media about the killing of 21-year-old nursing student Iman Rashid, who was killed on 23 June 2022, on the campus of the Applied Sciences Private University.

On the same day, the Public Security Directorate announced on its website that: "The search for the killer is still ongoing." It prohibited any publication on the case, but announced on 26 June 2022 the death of the girl's killer after shooting himself.

The Jordanian activist faces four charges, including “broadcasting false news abroad under Article 132 of the Penal Code, which would undermine the prestige of the state, defaming an official body under Article 191 of the Penal Code, and writing letters with the intent of inciting sectarian and racial strife under Article 150 of the Penal Code, in addition to publishing prohibited documents.”

Since her arrest, Abu Nabaa has announced an open-ended hunger strike, amid calls to lift restrictions on freedom of opinion and expression, and to release her and prisoners of conscience.

Under the hashtag "#Freedom_for_Activist_Sumaya", activists on social media launched an campaign of solidarity with her.

Recommendations

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) calls on the Jordanian authorities to:

1-  Immediate and unconditional release of woman rights defender Sumaya Abu Nabaa;

2- Respecting and not restricting freedom of expression and opinion, and allowing Internet activists to use cyberspace without restricting their activities, as stated in Article 15 of the Jordanian Constitution;

3- Respecting the international commitments of Jordan to international conventions that guarantee freedom of opinion and expression, foremost of which are the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

4- Applying and respecting the United Nations rules for the treatment of women prisoners known as the 2010 Bangkok Rules and iimplementing the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (the Nelson Mandela Rules).

Photo credit: (sharikawalaken).