Gulf media is reporting that deputy head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for publicly criticising the UAE. According to the Gulf Business report:
A court in Jordan jailed the deputy head of the country’s Muslim Brotherhood on Sunday for publicly criticising the United Arab Emirates, in a verdict his lawyer described as illegal and an attack on free speech.
The military court sentenced Zaki Bani Rushaid to 18 months in prison after convicting him of souring ties with a foreign country, a judicial source said.
He is the most high-profile political figure in decades to be imprisoned in Jordan, a U.S. ally that has so far been spared the turmoil that has spread across much of the Middle East following the Arab Spring revolts.
Bani Rushaid was arrested in November after criticising the UAE on social media for designating the Brotherhood, which is Jordan’s biggest opposition party, as a terrorist group and thereby serving Israeli interests. His arrest was condemned by rights groups.
The UAE is one of Jordan’s main financial backers and the two countries are close political allies, both participating in U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.
Bani Rushaid’s lead counsel Saleh Armouti said the court was illegal and its verdict a political one designed to ‘twist the arms of the Islamist movement’.
‘It’s the death of freedom of speech and a sword that hangs over anyone who dares express his personal view.’
Read the rest here.
The GMBDW reported in December 2014 that Zaki Bani Rushaid (aka Zaki Bani Rsheid had as been put on trial in Jordan in connection with the above charges.
The GMBDW reported in May 2010 on the election of Zaki Bani Rsheid), described as a “hardliner” and a “hawk”, as the secretary-general of the Islamic Action Front (IAF). The IAF is the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan. A post from 2009 had reported on his earlier resignation from the IAF in a dispute within the movement.