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Jordan court sentences failed suicide bomber to death for hotel blasts

[JURIST] An Iraqi woman who attempted to detonate a suicide bomb as part of the 2005 deadly hotel bombings in Amman [CTV report] was sentenced to death Thursday by a Jordanian military court. Sajida al-Rishawi was convicted along with six others who were tried in absentia of conspiracy to carry out a terrorist act causing death and destruction and illegal possession of weapons and explosives; al-Rishawi was the only defendant present for the trial. The alleged former head of al Qaeda in Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi [BBC profile], who claimed responsibility for the attacks which killed 60 people, was sentenced [JURIST report] in absentia to death by a military court in Jordan [JURIST news archive] in February.

In the wake of the bombings, Jordan's National Assembly [official website] passed a controversial new anti-terrorism bill [JURIST report] that opposition parties claim is tantamount to "martial law" [JURIST report] and an impermissible curb on civil liberties. A top UN official encouraged the Jordanian authorities to revisit the legislation [JURIST report] to address rights issues. Reuters has more.

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