Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mohammed, a single man, has been in Jordan approximately 2 years. When we visited his home we saw that he has practically nothing. He is not receiving cash assistance and struggles to pay the rent for his depressingly bleak studio apartment by doing odd jobs as he can find them.   
Recently, when Mohammed refused to pay extortion money to a local thug, he was wrongly accused of sexual assault on the extortionist’s younger sister. When the court demanded a physical examination of the young girl, the family refused and claimed that the assault was actually against a young son in the family. The accusations were made in retaliation for Mohammed not paying a demand for money and because he stood up to their bullying.  The UNHCR human rights and legal organization partner sent a lawyer who met with him only one time, having him sign papers agreeing to their representation -- and then they never returned, forcing him to hire a private attorney. He was acquitted and all charges dropped finally - but not until he had been in jail many months and incurred a lawyer's bill of 4,000 JD - which, of course, he is unable to pay.  A wealthy "sponsor" paid the bill but now he owes this sponsor the 4 grand and the sponsor is holding his passport as "collateral" until he pays. 
He does not yet receive cash assistance. CRP will intervene with UNHCR on his behalf in hope of facilitating UNHCR assessing him for eligibility for cash assistance.  CRP also hires  Mohammed for handy-man work as needed. Mohammed refuses to take money he does not earn.
CRP provided Mohammed with items from our distribution center and, with donations generously provided through Iraq Solidarity in the UK, we bought a fan for his stiffling apartment and we are looking for a small, used refrigerator for him.