President George W . Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500
Tel (202) 456-1 111
Fax (202) 456-2461

Dear President Bush:

My name is Osama Fawzi, American citizen of Jordanian origin. I am an advisor to Arab Times, the largest Arab-American newspaper in the United States, based in Houston, Texas.

Recently, I was elected the spokesman for Jordanian Human Rights Committee in the United States. Our goal is to bring to everyoneís attention the violations of human rights that take place everyday in the dictatorship regime of Jordanís King Abdallah .

King Abdallah and his Royal Hashemite Family have ruled Jordan as their private property for the last several decades. They are prospering from the work of the Jordanian people, who are suffering from financial strain as well as political persecution.

I am writing to you regarding the trial and resulting prison sentence that have been handed down by a military court to the former Parliament Minister Toujan Al Faisal in Jordan. The crime that this well-respected former Parliament member and well-known media person committed was to write a column in the form of an open letter to King Abdullah criticizing the recent corrupt practices of the Prime Minister of the government, Ali Abu Ragheb. Ragheb seized the opportunity of the Parliament not being in session to drastically increase the mandatory liability insurance rates. Although this may seem innocent enough, this act takes on a new angle when considered with the fact that Ragheb owns a substantial interest in one of the main car insurance agencies in the country. Furthermore it was later discovered that Ragheb had transferred, in name, ownership of this company to his daughter a short while before imposing this new order.

The victim in this case, Toujan Al Faisal, is a well-known media personality in Jordan whose importance in her country is no less than the importance of Barbara Walters in the United States. Her popularity with the people of Jordan led to her nomination and election to the Jordanian Parliament some years back.

With all that said, if Barbara Walters were to criticize one of your decisions or actions, or that of one of the officials in your government, would you order her detainment, torture, and prosecution by a military court? Would you in fact subject any of the citizens of this country to such treatment?

The Jordanian government exists in a schizophrenic state. The King, Princes, and the rest of the Royal Court live extremely westernized lives in their palaces and estates in Jordan and elsewhere. They spout endless rhetoric about democracy and human rights to the Western media, while the citizens living in their country are treated not like animals, but worse. My pets in the United States have more rights than the typical Jordanian citizen living in that farce of a democratic country. Human rights and civil liberties are in such a sorry state, that if King Abdullah and Toujan Al Faisal were to run against each other in a free, democratic election, Faisal would claim victory by a landslide.

At this point allow me to refer you to the State Departmentís report on Human Rights in Jordan. I am also including documents from various Human Rights organizations from the Middle East and the world (including a recently published press release by the Committee to Protect Journalists from New York) that go into more detail about the deteriorating conditions in Jordan. These documents will serve to explain part of the reason why many members of Al Qaeda are Jordanian. Jordanians hold the United States accountable for their suffering of this corrupt regime which strikes them down with the American club of financial aid that goes towards the renovation or acquisition of new royal estates for members of the Royal Court and top government officials.

None of the government corruption comes as a surprise to anyone, seeing as the King himself was involved in the largest theft in Jordanís history when his personal friend Majd Al-shamayla conned multiple Jordanian banks out of upwards of $100 million dollars. This took place with the help of several former top government officials, all of whom are now enjoying comfortable lives in Jordan while the courts are busy prosecuting a prominent figure in the Jordanian community and former Parliament member for publishing an article in Arab Times about the corrupt practices taking place in the government.

Just last week King Abdallah stopped by Houston and visited Rice University where he delivered a lecture revolving around the Middle East situation, which strikes me as funny coming from the King of a country that suffers from multiple personality disorder when it comes to civil rights and human rights in general. Upon receiving my invitation to this event from the Jordanian consul in Houston, I thought of all the innocent people, women and men, professionals and blue collar workers, executives and farmers, young and old, that are incarcerated and interrogated in Jordanian prisons for little to no reason at all, and certainly with no formal accusation or any pretense of a trial. Of course I had no choice but to decline this invitation.

The King may be able to manipulate the American public that is ignorant of his regime and his tactics. He may even coerce those who do know the truth, but are too afraid to speak out. You Mr. President, and others in the United States, have the opportunity and the obligation to take a stand and put pressure on this government to start acting like the democracy it claims to be.

We, as Arab-Americans, feel that the United States needs to be informed about King Abdalla,s oppressive regime and cease to support it. He is a man who stands for the very antithesis of what the United States symbolizes.


Dr. Osama Fawzi

American Society of Newspaper Editors
Amnesty International
Article 19 (United Kingdom)
Artikel 19 (The Netherlands)
Canadian Journalists for Free Expression
Freedom Forum
Freedom House
Human Rights Watch
Index on Censorship
International Center for Journalists
International Federation of Journalists
International PEN
International Press Institute
Lorne W. Craner, United States Assistant Secretary for Democracy, Human
Rights, and Labor
The Newspaper Guild
The North American Broadcasters Association
Overseas Press Club
Reporters Sans FrontiŤres
Mary Robinson, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
The Society of Professional Journalists
World Association of Newspapers
World Press Freedom Committee
Committee to Protect Journalists
Tel: (212) 465-1004, x-104
Fax: (212) 465-9568

King 'Abdallah bin Hussein
Office of H.M. the King
Royal Palace
Amman, Jordan
Fax: + 962 6 463 4755

Dr Fayez Tarawneh
Chief of the Royal Court
PO Box 80
Amman, Jordan
Fax: + 962 6 463 1452

Ali Abu Al-Ragheb
Prime Minister
PO Box 80 352
Amman, Jordan
Fax: +962 6 4 642520

Kaftan Al-Majali
Minister of Interior
Fax: +962 6 464 0404

Faris Nabulsi
Minister of Justice
PO Box 6040
Amman, Jordan
Fax + 962 6 568 0238

Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan Washington, D.C.
3504 International Drive, NW
Washington, DC 20008
Tel: (202) 966 2664
Fax: (202) 966 3110

Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
London, United Kingdom
6 Upper Phillimore Gardens,
London, W8 7HB
Tel: 0207 937 3685
Fax: 0207 937 8795

Jordan Representative to the United Nations
866 United Nations Plaza, Suite 552
New York, N.Y. 10017
Tel: (212) 752-0135, 0136
Fax: (212) 826-0830

Jordanian General Intelligence Department
P.O.Box (1980) - Amman
Tel. 5865131
Numbers of various Jordanian diplomatic missions around the world:
The Jordanian Embassy in Paris
The Jordanian Embassy in Roma
The Jordanian Embassy in Madrid
The Jordanian Embassy in Bonn
The Jordanian Embassy in Bern
The Jordanian Embassy in Vienna
00- 43-1-405-1031
The Jordanian Diplomatic Mission in The Hague