EU-backed ERT report accuses Jordan of mistreating disabled people, women

A new report has warned that people being housed by the state in protective custody are at a pronounced risk of being abused and tortured.

Disabled people and women in protective custody in Jordan are being abused, mistreated and even tortured, a new EU-backed study has found.

People with disabilities and women who had escaped violence were being unnecessarily detained in “shocking” conditions – often leading to “discrimination, torture and ill-treatment”, the report’s authors found.

The report, written by the Equal Rights Trust, recommends the Jordanian authorities “prohibit the practice of protective custody” with immediate effect – as it has led to a culture of abuse.

“Placing victims of honour crimes and other forms of gender-based violence into

protective custody is a clear violation of international law,” the report reads.

The researchers conducted in-depth interviews with people being held in protective custody, in addition to their family members, civil society activists and relevant professionals to gather a full account of the system.

Their conclusion found that a system of abuse had been allowed to persist – with “serious allegations” of physical and sexual abuse and the “discriminatory use of sedation”.

According to the report, there are an estimated 140 women currently being housed in protective custody – most for their own protection as they have no other means of shelter.

Many of these women are being held for acting in an orthodox manner – such as for “walking alone in public at night or in the company of men who are not their relatives”.

The report recommends that Jordan “discontinue and prohibit” protective custody altogether and transfer all women currently in protective custody to safe houses.