13 Jordan activists charged with insulting king (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) 04/01/12)
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Jordanian military prosecutors on Sunday charged 13 political
activists with incitement against the regime, rioting and insulting
King Abdullah II, a day after police broke up their demonstration.
"State Security Court prosecutors accused the 13 of inciting the
public against the country´s political regime, rioting and insulting
the king," a court official told AFP.
They face up to 15 years in prison if convicted.
On Saturday, around 200 members of various youth movements
demonstrated near the prime minister´s office in Amman to demand the
release of six activists who were jailed last month for insulting the
Anti-riot police dispersed the protest after the demonstrators
refused to stop chanting against the regime.
Public Security Department spokesman Mohammad Khatib told AFP that
police had arrested 28 of those who took part in the protest, 15 of
whom have subsequently been released.
The suspects are being tried before a military tribunal because of
the nature of their alleged crimes.
The State Security Court tries both military personnel and civilians
and its jurisdiction includes trying offences against Jordan´s
The Public Security Department said in a statement Saturday that
police made the arrests after "some protesters broke the law,
disturbed public order, blocked traffic and insulted security
officials," adding that the demonstration "was not peaceful."
Jordan´s powerful Muslim Brotherhood condemned police action against
"Dispersing the protest and arresting the activists escalate tension
in the country," said spokesman Jamil Abu Baker.
"Their chants came as a result of frustration that no real reforms
have been introduced and no genuine anti-corruption steps have been
Abu Baker added that "the regime still has time to prove its good
intention. Reform is the only solution to the current tension and
escalation in Jordan."
The human rights watchdog Amnesty International on Saturday called
for the release of activists jailed in March.
"Restrictions on the right to criticise the authorities or state
institutions persist in Jordan and journalists, activists and others
continue to face arrest and prosecution," it said.
Jordanians have been protesting since January last year demanding
sweeping political and economic reforms and an end to corruption.
(Copyright © 2012 Agence France Presse. 04/01/12)
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