Jordanian MB Protests Enforcement Of Anti- Terrorism Bill

The anti- terrorism bill which was approved by majority of the Jordanian Parliament on Sunday August 27, 2006, raised controversy among civil society organizations. In an exclusive statement to Ikhwanweb, Secretary General of the Islamic Action Front Zaki Bin Arsheed said that the recently enacted anti- terrorism law paves the way for further extension of state control, thus sowing the seeds of fear within the people’s hearts. “If about 75% of the Jordanian people fear to voice their opposition to any government decisions, what if this law is enforced?” Bin Arsheed asked, replying that this law will generate a panicked society, obstructing any economic or social development, and creating a cowardly society failing to confront their foreign enemies. Ben Arsheed also affirmed that the Parliament had earlier endorsed bills and laws which still work against the nationals, citing the law banning public assembly. Chairman of the MB Parliamentary Bloc Nedhal el Ebady said that the newly endorsed bill includes items which run counter to freedoms enshrined by the constitution.  While Ebady stressed on the unanimous agreement among all political forces on the importance of security and stability, as well as fighting and standing up against any acts of violence of terrorism, he, however, hastened to question the wisdom of such a bill while the law and constitution encompass all items that stem crimes and lay down punishment for them whatever they are. El Ebady even regarded this bill as deviation from international treaties and conventions joined in by the government such as the UN convention and the World Declaration of Human Rights and the like. He disclosed that the Amnesty International has even called on the Arab governments to not advocate an anti terrorism law as it does not go with the international law, seeing that the Arab Pact on fighting terrorism does harm to human rights.” Use of force is not the solution to violence. Rather, there are other solutions such as more freedoms and respect of human rights “, he said, adding that security agencies are assigned to help citizens rather than to rule them, “It is the politicians rather than the security agencies that should rule the people”,he added. The threat posed by this bill, in el Ebady’s point of view, is that it does not draw a demarcation line between terrorism and legitimate resistance enshrined in the international laws and norms, including the Geneva conventions and its protocols concerning the armed conflicts. El Ebady lamented that most of those referred to the State Security Court in the recent years are tried only for their opinions, some of whom are even tried because they logged onto websites affiliated to Qaeda or even non terrorist movements including Hamas. El Ebady concluded by warning against the seriousness of this bill, depicting it as a freedom restricting one, to the detriment of the entire Jordanian people.