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Jordan: Anti-terror law campaign grows

AMMAN, Jordan, June 5 (UPI) -- The campaign against an anti-terror law passed by the Jordanian cabinet last week gained momentum as human rights groups joined the opposition in protesting it.

At least two of Jordan's main human rights watchdogs joined forces with the opposition in rejecting the law, which parliament is expected to debate at an extraordinary session later this month.

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A joint statement issued Monday by the Arab Organization for Human Rights - Jordan Branch, and the Jordanian Organization for Human Rights lashed out at the law, calling it "a terror law, since it is really made to terrorize the people and prevent them from any activity that does not suit the government even if it was a cultural, sports, economic or political activity, or a protest against price rises or water cuts."

It said after a thorough review of the law, "we have found that many of its clauses bluntly violated the rules of the constitution and the International Declaration of Human Rights as well as the international chart for political and civilian rights."

The statement called on the government "to withdraw the law in order to safeguard the constitution, public freedoms and the rights of civilians which, if they are not respected, they will not have real security."

The law deems relations with any terrorist group and organization to be an act of terror, whether through direct action or indirectly through financing.

Recruiting people for terrorist organizations inside or outside the kingdom, and possessing, manufacturing, transporting or delivering any raw material that can be used in the production of chemical weapons for use in terrorist attacks falls under the bracket of terrorism.

The law allows the public prosecutor to arrest persons suspected of involvement in any terrorist activity; place them under tight surveillance; and bar them from leaving the country. It also permits suspects to be detained for two weeks without charge.

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