Human Rights Groups Call to End Arrest of Jordan's First Female Member of Parliament
Two Jordanian human rights groups urged the authorities to free Jordan's first female member of parliament as she entered her second day of a hunger strike on Monday.
Former MP Tujan Faisal, who served in parliament from 1993 until 1997, was detained on Saturday for a renewable 15-day period on orders of the state security court for defaming the state. She stands accused of "spreading stories which attack the state and officials' reputations," a high-ranking government official told AFP.
The president of the Arab Organization of Human Rights in Jordan charged that Faisal was arrested "simply for expressing her opinion on the behavior of some officials." "This violates the constitution and the law which guarantee freedom of expression," Hani Dahle told a press conference, calling for Faisal's "immediate release".
On March 6 Faisal sent an e-mail message addressed to Jordan's King Abdullah II in which she accused Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb of "profiting financially" from a government decision to raises taxes on car insurance by 100 percent.
The head of the Jordanian Society for Citizen Rights, Fawzi Samhuri, meanwhile addressed a letter to the Jordanian PM expressing his "concern over the increased arrests" of journalists and political figures since the end of 2001.
Samhuri, who also called for the release of Faisal, said such act was a "flagrant violation of human rights and undermines Jordan's reputation." (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)