The King’s Messages and the Building Blocks of Law

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Tue 10 October / Oct 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

The King’s recent visit to the Public Security Directorate (PSD), after Criminal Investigations Department (CID) personnel assaulted a university professor was invaluable.

It conveyed numerous, doubly important messages to the police and the public opinion.

The first part of the King’s message underlined the importance of training and preparing police personnel for their jobs.

His Majesty stressed that the core of the relationship between law enforcement and citizens should be mutual respect, in accordance to the PSD’s mission statement; to protect citizens, safeguard their dignity, and enforce the rule of law.

To the public, the King directed another message, reaffirming that the unlawful assault in Irbid was indeed an isolated incident, and that it shouldn’t be generalised.

King Abdullah highlighted that the people should not allow such incidents to disrupt the public’s image of the police, who mostly exempt civilised, exemplary behaviour, with the exception of this incident and very few others.

The King’s message was clear: that the public should not exploit this incident to vilify the police and insult them, because the outcomes will be dangerous.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Interior visited the police in Ramtha, and paid a special visit to the House of Thiabat, to reassure them that the personnel who attacked the professor will be held accountable.

If anything, this shows that we’re learning from our mistakes in the past. It also shows that the government is beginning to understand the importance of its media and political instruments, and the vitality of timely, effective, and proactive response to crises.

As for us, the citizens, we need to understand that the battle to restore the rule of law is everyone’s responsibility.

We were all appalled by what happened in Ramtha.

This much is obvious from the protests and the flood of condemnation that swept the Social Media.

In the meantime, it is not a healthy solution to transform this incident into a tribal issue between Ramtha and the police, because this is an issue of the law and citizenship.

Unprecedented exploitation and abuse of power by personnel of the law enforcement is something for all of us Jordanians to lookout for.

Such practices and infringements against the rights of citizens and human beings are unacceptable, regardless of where or when. Whether it was against a citizen in Karak, Ramtha, Baqaa Camp, Wehdat in Amman, all the same, or a Syrian refugee in Zaatri, it will not be tolerated.

An issue of the law concerns all who dwell on Jordanian sovereignty.

On the other hand, it is crucial that the principles of transparency and accountability be advanced on all levels of the public dynamic, from police to the innermost halls of the state.

Those are the building blocks of the state of law.

Just this week, the Director of the Suwaqa Correctional Facility, Col Abdullah Bdour, confirmed to AlGhad that 13 police personnel were involved in the Suwaqa riots.

He also said they have been detained and are currently being investigated.

The most important part of the Col’s statement was admitting to the chaos and the obvious undermining of prisoner rights.

Various health and environment infringements against the rights of prisoners have been documents in Suwaqa, the Col explains. Especially against the rights of long-term inmates.

All of this preceded the riots and the maiming the cameras caught.

The Col’s openness is a starting point, not just in the sector, but in most sectors.

Our biggest issue with officials is that they would rather burry their faces in the sand than admit to mistakes, shortcomings, or problems.

Admitting our problems breaks the vicious cycle of denial, which leads to diagnosis, and remedy.

It is important that we reflect on the Col Bdour’s statements and start somewhere. We must think deeply about the “Prison Society” too and what it has become.

We must understand it thoroughly to lay out a strategy if we are ever to succeed in turning prisons into actual correctional facilities. Because these facilities we now call define as “correctional” are only propagating crime and extremism, instead of rehabilitating citizens!

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.