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Jordan parliamentarians pardoned for pro-Zarqawi actions

[JURIST] King Abdullah II of Jordan [official website] issued a "special amnesty" on Saturday for two opposition party lawmakers who were convicted of incitement [JURIST report] in August 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. A military court in September had sentenced Mohammed Abu Fares and Ali Abu Sukkar to two years and one and a half years, respectively, on single charges of "instigating sectarian strife and fueling national discord." An appeals court later reduced their prison terms. The pardon eliminates the remaining prison term but does not expunge their criminal records.

Both lawmakers are members of the opposition Islamic Action Front (IAF) [party website, in Arabic], the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood [party website; FAS backgrounder]. Authorities arrested four MPs [JURIST report] in June after after receiving 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. AP has more.

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