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Muslim Brotherhood leader released after serving sentence

By Khetam Malkawi - Jan 04,2016 - Last updated at Jan 04,2016

Zaki Bani Rsheid (centre), deputy overall leader of the Muslim Brotherhood group, speaks to Islamists on Monday during a gathering in Amman to celebrate his release from jail (Photo by Raad Adayleh)

AMMAN — Deputy overall leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Zaki Bani Rsheid was released from jail on Monday night after serving his sentence.

Murad Adayleh, spokesperson of the Islamic Action Front (IAF), said Bani Rsheid was released at 1:30am, charging that the late release was meant to prevent his supporters from organising a celebration.

The State Security Court sentenced Bani Rsheid to one-and-a-half years in prison last February on charges of harming Jordan’s ties with a friendly state under the Anti-Terrorism Law.

Making statements deemed harmful to Jordan’s ties with foreign states is a criminal offence under articles 3 and 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Law.

The Islamist leader was arrested in November 2014 over a statement posted on Facebook accusing the United Arab Emirates of promoting “Zionist” foreign policies and indirectly sponsoring “extremism” in the region.

“His release means a lot to us,” Adayleh told The Jordan Times over the phone, adding that Bani Rsheid is an influential figure both on the national level and for the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

“We hope that he will succeed in reuniting the movement again and help bring all parties of the group together,” he said, referring to recent dispute between members of the IAF, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood group.

Last Thursday, 400 members, including top leaders and founding members, tendered their resignation to the leadership of the IAF in an unprecedented mass move.

These members are planning to form their own political party after conducting studies on possibilities of its success.

The crisis of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan started when a group of reformists led by Abdul Majid Thneibat re-registered the movement as a Jordanian society, severing its affiliation with its mother group in Egypt.

 

The Muslim Brotherhood-Jordan was licensed in 1946 as a charity affiliated with Egypt group and relicensed in 1953 as an Islamic society.

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