On the 20th of February 2012 on occasion of the “world day of social justice“, PRI Middle East and North Africa organized in Amman, a consultative meeting in collaboration with the observatory for humans and the environment on “The reality and prospects for the abolition of the death penalty in Jordan”. Participants at the debate included representative of government, parliament, magistrates, judges, lawyers, journalists, Islamic scholars, and human rights activists. They all agreed that the death penalty “ is a violation of the right to life” , a basic concept of universal human rights, and stressed the need for joint efforts between public authorities and civil society especially in awareness campaigns targeting legislative and judiciary bodies , “ parliament members lack the needed awareness related to international agreements, including those which Jordan have ratified “ said PM Wafa Benimustapha. Judge Laith Alawneh said “ we felt the benefits of awareness efforts conducted by NGO’s in our daily work practices, but more comprehensive work is still needed! Judge Jawad Alshawa also expressed the need to sensitize judges and judiciary staff, as they do not implement any of the international conventions, and he also asked for a dialogue with religious leaders to advocate for the abolition of the death penalty .
PRI regional director, Mrs Taghreed Jabr emphasized, in her opening speech, the importance of humanizing the criminal justice system sanctions as one of the pillars of penal reforms in compliance with the principle of fair trial and the rehabilitation of the offender. She asked not to draw a separation between criminal and the social justice, she also pointed out that 140 countries have abolished the death penalty, a sign of growing international conviction.
The Director of observatory for Humans and the Environment , focused on the “lack of community awareness” and expressed the worry from rising calls demanding the execution of Arab rulers or politicians in power, which contrasts with the demands for a democratic life”. Taleb Alsaqqaf called on the Jordanian judiciary system to take “intensive measures” to abolition the death penalty on the “world day of social justice.” There are currently 70 people, including 5 women, on death row, in Jordan. Mr Alsaqqaf also criticized the lack of national initiatives supporting the abolition of the death penalty. The meeting was also a platform for local civil society to meet with parliamentarians and government officials, the Secretary General of the Ministry of Political Development Malek Twal, confirmed an ideological consensus between the government and civil society organizations in reducing the number of death sentences and calls for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty. noting the need to obtain a social acceptance to cancel the penalty, and where awareness becomes essential through continuous cooperation between the governments and NGO’S. The Islamic scholar Prof Hamdi Murad, expressed his support for the abolition of death penalty and said “Islam is a religion of mercy and not revenge”.