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Brotherhood members protest leaders’ detention

By Taylor Luck - Dec 14,2014 - Last updated at Dec 14,2014

AMMAN — Tens of Muslim Brotherhood members rallied on Saturday in protest against the detention and upcoming trials of some of the movement’s leaders on terrorism charges.

In a rally in front of the headquarters of the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the movement’s political arm, members of the IAF shura council called for the immediate release of Deputy Overall Leader Zaki Bani Rsheid and senior Brotherhood activist Mohammad Saeed Baker, who are facing trial at the State Security Court.

During the one-hour rally, IAF Secretary General Mohammad Zyoud accused authorities of “clamping down on the freedom of expression” in the country, claiming that Bani Rsheid and Baker are facing trial for expressing their political views, rather than impacting Jordan’s security. 

Arrested last month for comments posted on Facebook critical of the United Arab Emirates, Bani Rsheid faces trial on Thursday on charges of “harming Jordan’s relations with a foreign state”, in violation of the Anti-Terrorism Law.

Baker is currently facing trial for similar charges due to statements made in a pro-Gaza rally in August. 

The Brotherhood claims that 20 of its members and activists have been detained by authorities over the past three months, 13 of whom are facing or set to face trial at the State Security Court. 

Over 100 lawyers have signed up for Bani Rsheid’s defence team, headed by Saleh Armouti, former president of the Jordan Bar Association. 

Authorities have disputed claims by Islamists that Bani Rsheid’s comments represented free speech, insisting that the inflammatory remarks directly impacted the Kingdom’s ties with the UAE. 

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