Jordan opposition parties slam new anti-terror measure as ’martial law’

 Opposition parties in Jordan on Tuesday condemned anti-terrorism legislation approved [JURIST report] Sunday by Jordan’s National Assembly [official website], comparing the new measures to “martial law” and voicing fear that the law will be used to curtail individual liberties. The new anti-terror law is the Jordanian government’s first attempt to address and impose penalties on those involved in terrorist activities and was motivated by three deadly bombings in hotels in Amman [CTV report] in 2005. Some of Jordan’s leading opposition parties including the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood [party website; FAS backgrounder], voiced strong reservations about the new law, saying that it is “a blunt violation of the Jordanian constitution and the International Declaration of Human Rights.” The Muslim Brotherhood has also criticized [JURIST report] the law as a US-supported attempt to characterize all movements for political freedom and independence as acts of terrorism.

The new law defines a wide range of behavior as acts of terror, regardless of whether the activity was directly or indirectly supporting terrorist activities. Provisions allow for suspects to be detained for up 30 days before being charged or released and allows military courts to have sole jurisdiction over terrorism claims. Recruitment for terror networks and possession, manufacture, and transport of materials that can be used to produce weapons are also considered acts of terror. UPI has more.