First Published: 2005-08-10

Jordan, Britain sign deportation accord

Controversial agreement allows for undesirables to be deported from one country to other without fear of torture.


Middle East Online

Pressure is growing on Islamists in Britain

AMMAN - Jordan and Britain on Wednesday signed a controversial non-legally binding agreement allowing for undesirables to be deported from one country to the other without fear of torture.

The move could pave the way for the deportation to Jordan of an Islamist cleric linked to Al-Qaeda, Omar Abu Omar, alias Abu Qatada, sentenced in Amman to life imprisonment and currently under house arrest in Britain.

Jordan's Interior Minister Awni Yervas signed the memorandum of understanding with British charge d'affaires Pat Philips, saying it guarantees that the "personal and civil rights" of those expelled will be respected.

Those expelled would have the right to a lawyer and not to be ill-treated, Yervas said.

But Yervas was non-committal over the possibility of Abu Qatada being sent back to Jordan.

"London has not yet informed us of its intention to send (Qatada) back to Jordan and the kingdom has not asked for his extradition," he said.

Qatada is suspected of inspiring Mohammed Atta, the leader of the September 11 hijackers, and shoe bomber Richard Reid, who tried to blow up a plane over the Atlantic in December 2001.

The British government said in July that it had reached an initial agreement to allow it to deport Jordanian nationals wanted in their country without fear of mistreatment, the first in a series of similar accords with other countries.

Under international law, Britain is prevented from sending people back to a country where they might face inhuman or degrading treatment and has a policy of not returning people to face the death penalty.

But rights group Amnesty International slammed the agreement as "not worth the paper it's written on".

"Such promises from countries like Jordan, which are known to use torture, are not worth the paper they are written on," said the London-based group's Europe and Central Asia Director Nicola Duckworth.

"These assurances rely on the good faith of states that are known to torture their subjects - a practice which few states admit to. How does (British Home Secretary) Charles Clarke propose to monitor whether these promises are being honoured?"

Abu Qatada, a Jordanian of Palestinian origin, is widely described as terror mastermind Osama bin Laden's "right-hand man in Europe".

A Jordanian court sentenced him in absentia to life imprisonment in 1998 for his alleged involvement in a series of explosions.

He was again sentenced to jail in September 2000 for financing a dismantled network linked to Al-Qaeda that had plotted attacks against US and Jewish targets and Christian pilgrimage sites during millennium celebrations.

Abu Qatada was granted refugee status in Britain in 1994 after entering the country with false documents.

Tapes of Abu Qatada's sermons were found in a Hamburg flat used by some of the September 11 hijackers.


Syria rebels prepare to quit penultimate pocket of Ghouta

Egyptians prepare to vote with Sisi reelection guaranteed

Israel ministers welcome US appointment of 'friend' Bolton

Iran slams US sanctions over hacking scheme

Iraqi widow saved recruits from slaughter by IS

Policeman dead in bombing in Alexandria

Syrians in Manbij fear Turkey, bet on US

Quick victory unlikely in Egypt assault on IS

Sisi, Egypt's undisputed leader and 'father figure'

PKK to quit northwest Iraq after Turkish threat

Iraqi asylum seeker gets life sentence for London bombing

UK says Israeli sentencing of Palestinian teenage girl "emblematic"

Sarkozy vows to clear name in Libya probe

Syria announces second evacuation deal for rebel-held Eastern Ghouta.

Three dead after suspected IS gunman takes hostages in France

170,000 flee violence in Syria's Afrin

Norway proposes bill to ban full-face veils in education

Turkey says EU statements on Cyprus 'unacceptable'

Air strikes hit Ghouta despite rebel ceasefire effort

US approves $1 billion in Saudi defence contracts

Saudi to carry out nuclear power deal with or without US

In world first, flight to Israel crosses Saudi airspace

Saudi, US must pursue 'urgent efforts' for Yemen peace: Mattis

US, Jordan launch new counterterrorism training centre

Turkey’s largest media group to be sold to Erdogan ally

Rebels evacuate Syria's Eastern Ghouta

Exiled Syrian doctors treat refugees in Turkey

Two Hamas security force members killed in raid on bomb suspect

Turkey gives watchdog power to block internet broadcasts

EU leaders to condemn Turkey’s ‘illegal’ actions in Mediterranean

Sarkozy says life ‘living hell’ since corruption allegations

Hezbollah leader says debt threatens Lebanon disaster

Ahed Tamimi reaches plea deal for eight months in jail

UN launching final push to salvage Libya political agreement

Conditions for displaced from Syria's Ghouta 'tragic': UN

Sisi urges Egyptians to vote, denies excluding rivals

Rights Watch says Libya not ready for elections

Saudis revamp school curriculum to combat Muslim Brotherhood

American mother trapped in Syria’s Ghouta calls out Trump

Syria workers say French firm abandoned them to jihadists

Grim Nowruz for Kurds fleeing Afrin

Sarkozy back in custody for second day of questioning

'Saudization' taking its toll on salesmen

Syrian rebels reach evacuation deal in Eastern Ghouta town

Israel confirms it hit suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007