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Rights Group Urges Bush to Discuss Abuses with Jordan

A leading human rights group is urging President Bush to raise with Jordan's king his country's alleged rights abuses.

Human Rights Watch Tuesday accused Jordan's General Intelligence Department of carrying out arbitrary arrests and torturing suspects in its detention facilities.

The New York-based rights group says it wants Mr. Bush to take up the matter with King Abdullah, who is visiting the U.S. Human Rights Watch says the director-general of Jordan's General Intelligence Department Major General Muhammad al-Dhahabi is accompanying the king.

Based on the cases of 16 suspects, the group alleges that many detainees are denied contact with relatives and attorneys, are never charged, and are eventually released without trial. Its report also documents alleged ill-treatment, ranging from sleep deprivation to beatings with bamboo sticks.

In June, the group urged Jordan to protect freedom of speech, after police arrested four lawmakers for visiting the family of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaida in Iraq leader killed by U.S. troops in June.

That visit came days after American troops killed the terrorist. Zarqawi was accused of organizing three hotel bombings last year in Jordan's capital Amman. More than 50 people died in the attacks.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.