Jordanian Islamists Call Terrorist Trial Verdicts ‘Official Violence’
Jordan's principal opposition party said Thursday that the sentences recently handed down against Islamic militants accused of plotting terrorist activities were "very severe" and evidence of "official violence."
On September 18, a Jordanian state security court sentenced to death six Islamists, suspected of being linked to terrorist Osama bin Laden, for plotting attacks against Jews, US targets and tourist destinations in the kingdom.
The court immediately commuted two death sentences to life imprisonment, citing "family reasons."
Six others, including a minor, were acquitted of any wrongdoing while the remaining 14 were given jail sentences ranging from seven and half to 15 years.
In a communiqué Thursday, the Islamic Action Front (IAF) lashed out not only at those sentences, but also at what it said was the "repression of students in the universities, of the faithful in the mosques and of the unions."
It said this "constitutes official violence, which risks bringing about violence and protests."
The IAF said the authorities should "eliminate the reasons for the tensions, specifically the rise in unemployment, the worsening of corruption and nepotism and the absence of political justice."
It called on the authorities to "respect the political rights of Jordanians" in order that the country not be brought "to the brink of a downfall."
The IAF, which evolved from the Muslim Brotherhood, boycotted the last legislative elections in 1997 and has threatened to do so again in 2001 unless the government adopts a "more democratic" electoral law – AMMAN (AFP)
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