"The arrest by security forces of well over a dozen peaceful reform activists since September 7, 2012, signals the government's toughening stand toward demands for political reform in the kingdom", Human Rights Watch said today. The authorities should release all of those detained solely for the peaceful exercise of their rights to expression, association, and assembly, Human Rights Watch added.
The security services arrested activists in various parts of the country for peacefully protesting or calling for reform, in what appeared a concerted move by security and judicial authorities against opposition groups, said HRW in a statment. Those arrested include eight activists from the southern town of Tafila, two from Karak, and seven from Amman. All were charged under terrorism provisions, which place them under the purview of the military-dominated State Security Court, three lawyers for the activists told Human Rights Watch.
All remain in detention. (ANSAmed). "The arrests show how shallow promises of political freedoms in Jordan are," said Crhistoph Wilcke, senior Middle East researcher at Human Rights Watch. "It is deeply worrying that Jordan is using laws against terrorism to prosecute peaceful activists," he added.
"Jordan's government is in full reversal mode against the modest gains in public liberties achieved by reform activists during the regional popular empowerment in 2011," Wilcke said. "The government should address legitimate concerns rather than trying to silence people who raise them.