Jordan charges students with incitement after claims of "devil worship"
A Jordanian military prosecutor has charged 5 university students with incitement, after they allegedly desecrated a Koran and engaged in "devil worship", AFP reports.
“A state security court prosecutor charged the five students today with doctrinal and sectarian incitement,” a court official told AFP.
If found guilty, the students face up to 3 years in prison under Jordanian law.
The decision came after a campaign by the the NGO Human Rights Watch(HRW), who called for the students to either be charged or released by the authorities. They had been held for 15 days prior to being charged on Wednesday.
All five students deny the accusations and HRW released a statement from their families saying that no evidence of criminal activity had been presented to the accused. They were attacked by a mob of other students at the Al-Bayt University on March 12, who accuse them of desecrating the holy book and performing a "religious ritual."
HRW called on police to protect the students and arrest those who allegedly attacked and threatened them.
“Jordanian authorities should release the five students and take steps to protect them from further attack,” said Eric Goldstein, deputy Middle East director at HRW.
“The authorities should hold to account anyone who joined in this witch hunt and committed acts of violence. They should not be allowed to walk free while their victims are locked up.”