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Jordan lawmakers convicted of incitement after Zarqawi comments

[JURIST] A Jordan military court Sunday convicted two lawmakers from the Islamic Action Front (IAF) [party website, in Arabic], the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood [party website; FAS backgrounder], for expressing sympathy after the death of al Qaeda Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi [CTV report; JURIST report] when they visited Zarqawi's relatives in his native Jordan. The court sentenced Mohammed Abu Fares to two years in prison and Ali Abu Sukkar to 1.5 years in prison. The defendants pleaded not guilty to charges of "instigating sectarian strife and fueling national discord."

Jordan's general prosecutor had issued arrest warrants for four lawmakers - Abu Fares, Abu Sukkar, Jaafar al-Hourani, 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 [BBC report], which killed 60 people. The four were arrested [JURIST report] in June. Al-Hourani was acquitted at the trial, and al-Mashwakhi was released earlier this month. AP has more.

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