The Fate of ‘Brave Reports’

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Wed 16 November / Nov 2016. 10:02 PM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

The importance of the 2016 Human Rights Status Report in Jordan, issued by the National Centre for Human Rights (NCHR), goes beyond the mere evaluation of the human rights situation in Jordan and the citation of violations and authoritative practices, to the construction of deep founded national human rights philosophy and framework.

The report poses structural questions that, in my estimation, require thorough deliberation among respective and concerned parties of the state, regarding the argumentative and organic relationship between security and human rights, and the means of correctly controlling the dynamic in such a way that preserves the basic freedoms, dignity, and the rights of human beings while not effecting the efficiency of national and public security. And in this discourse, the report features a fundamental visualisation of the domestic situation, realistically, and theoretically, measuring up to international benchmarks and covenants.

In the heart of this crucial preface, in the report, the concepts of security are addressed, argued and redefined comprehensively, allowing the integration of public and individual freedoms within its frameworks, to entail a general consideration of the boundaries of liberties and right, safeguarding them, and prioritising them in the official dynamic!

The report confirms, that even though there has been some positive progress made, like the endorsement of the National Close of Human Rights, in addition to increased reliability in the tracking of torture incidents and logs, still, in general, it is not enough. All in all, we make a step forward down one path, but take two back on another. Evidently, the human rights file is governed by a composition of internal and external policies, and circumstance, instead of ground legal principles!

In the end, it seems that after years of hard, continuous work at the NCHR, the results are disappointing in regards to the state’s abidance and commitment to Human Rights and its transformation into a behavioural culture and rule of practice within the multitude of state and authoritative institutions; judicial, security, and even economic policy.

Perhaps even more important than that, in the report, is the expansion in exploitation of the anti-terrorism law for the purpose of suffocating public liberties and violating other legal boundaries in regards to handing opposition and even political detainees, which explains the increase in journalist and human rights activist arrests in 2015, compared to previous years, which brings us back to square one; the argumentative dialect of security and freedom, which is a concept the report attempted to bring up and address thoroughly, prefacing a national perspective for it.

At this point, we need to ponder a moment! The tone and dialect of the report is coherent, strong, and well poised, but the greater —much greater— issue is not the report itself, but that it raises issues our officials do not care for!

I would imagine that this report, after all the celebration and promotion, will be thrown into a drawer, along with other similar reports, and not a single ranking official, including the Prime Minister and his crew, is going to even think about discussing the report and its findings, let alone proposing it for the public institution to review in order to figure out means by which the gap between the scandalous findings of the Centre’s report, which holds high credibility, and the practices of the official body, can be bridged.

Perhaps, this takes us back to the primary, silenced question; was the purpose of establishing a national centre for Human Rights to indeed develop and advance human rights in Jordan? Or was it technically an inception of another isolated island among the many islands of the State? Has the Centre’s reporting become more or less a meaningless routine to officials?!