Jordan parliament passes contentious anti-terror bill

[JURIST] Jordan's National Assembly [official website] on Sunday approved anti-terror legislation that opponents predict will unnecessarily curtail individual liberties. The bill, which will become law when signed by King Abdullah II [official website], is Jordan's first attempt to address terrorism [JURIST report] since the deadly Amman hotel bomb [CTV report] that killed 57 people in 2005. In May, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood [party website; FAS backgrounder] criticized the bill [JURIST report] as a US-influenced bid to stifle Jordan's government reform movement and encourage the establishment of a police state in the country.

The law criminalizes a wide range of behavior as 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 gives military courts sole jurisdiction over terrorism claims, and permits officials to conduct surveillance of terrorism suspects and bar suspects from leaving the country. A provision allowing the police to detain suspects for 30 days, at which point suspects must be either charged or released, has also prompted criticism from human rights groups. AP has more.



 

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