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Jordan anti-terror bill would create police state: Muslim Brotherhood

[JURIST] A leader of the Islamic Action Front [party website], the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood [official website; FAS backgrounder] in Jordan, Wednesday criticized Jordan's draft anti-terrorism legislation as an oppressive, US-influenced bid to stifle Jordan's government reform movement and encourage the establishment of a police state in the country. The bill, first proposed last November [JURIST report] in response to the deadly Amman hotel bomb [CTV report] that killed 57 people in 2005, was approved by the government last Sunday [UPI report], and will be presented to the Jordanian parliament [official website] in July for final approval. The Islamic Action Front currently holds 20 of Jordan's 84 parliamentary seats.

The law criminalizes a wide range of behavior as an acts of terror, including financing, interacting with or recruiting for any terrorist group, and possessing, making, or transporting any material that can be used to produce chemical weapons. The law has also been criticized by human rights groups for providing for indefinite detention of terrorist suspects, though UPI is reporting that the law as currently drafted only allows for detainees to be held for two weeks without being charged. UPI has more. The Jordan Times has local coverage of the legislation.

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