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Jordan officials arrest four lawmakers as Zarqawi sympathizers

[JURIST] Jordanian authorities have detained four lawmakers from the Islamic Action Front (IAF) [party website, in Arabic], the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood [Wikipedia backgrounder], who allegedly expressed sympathy after the death of al Qaeda Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi [CTV report; JURIST report] by visiting Zarqawi's relatives in his native Jordan, according to a report Monday by Jordan's official Petra News Agency. Jordan's general prosecutor had issued arrest warrants Sunday for the four lawmakers - Mohammed Abu Fares, Jaafar al-Hourani, Ali Abu Sukkar, and Ibrahim al-Mashwakhi - after receiving several complaints from Jordanian citizens, mostly families of victims of last fall's al Qaeda-led attacks on three hotels in Amman [Wikipedia backgrounder], which killed 60 people.

Jordanian Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit
[Wikipedia profile] also warned against sympathy for Zarqawi, saying that Jordan will not tolerate attempts to undermine its security. The four lawmakers have no legal immunity from prosecution while the parliament is in recess, and they could face up to 10 years in prison under Jordan's new anti-terror laws. IAF members slammed the Jordanian government [Khaleej Times report] Monday, calling the detention of the four lawmakers unconstitutional and demanding their release. Reuters has more. The Angola Press has additional coverage.

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