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Friday, December 1, 2023

Jordan rejects US request to launch ex-Jordanian official accused of plot in opposition to king

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JERUSALEM — Jordan has rejected a U.S. request to launch a former high Jordanian official imprisoned in an alleged plot in opposition to the Western-allied monarchy, in accordance with his household and lawyer.

Bassem Awadallah, a twin Jordanian-American citizen, has spent over two years in Jordanian jail after being convicted of plotting in opposition to King Abdullah II with the king’s personal half-brother. He denies the costs, and his legal professionals say he was convicted in a sham trial that lacked due course of.

The U.S. State Division requested he be launched on humanitarian grounds in March, in accordance with his household and his lawyer. The request got here simply weeks after he started a starvation strike to protest his imprisonment, leading to his hospitalization. Jordan rebuked the request earlier this month, in accordance with John Ashcroft, Awadullah’s lawyer.

Ashcroft, a former U.S. lawyer basic, sharply criticized the refusal, noting that Jordan receives appreciable help from the US and may heed its requests. The U.S. offers over $1 billion a 12 months in help to Jordan, in accordance with the State Division.

“When our authorities requested improperly detained fellow citizen, Bassem Awadallah, be launched, King Abdullah’s regime with out motive stated no,” stated an announcement from Ashcroft’s workplace. “Our authorities has been capable of persuade enemy states to launch unjustly detained US residents. It ought to be capable of persuade the king of Jordan to do the identical.”

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The State Division wouldn’t affirm whether or not it had requested Awadallah’s launch.

In an announcement, it stated the U.S. Embassy in Amman has been following the case carefully since Awadallah’s imprisonment and visits him every month. It additionally stated it’s monitoring Awadallah’s well being, with out giving any particulars on his situation.

Jordan’s Overseas Ministry declined remark.

Jordan is an in depth Western ally that hosts a whole lot of hundreds of Mideast refugees and has lengthy been seen as an island of stability in a unstable area. However there are also deep-rooted financial and social challenges within the nation, which borders Israel, the Israel-occupied West Financial institution, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Awadallah, who as soon as served as a high adviser to the king, and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal household, have been discovered responsible of sedition and incitement two years in the past and sentenced to fifteen years in jail.

Awadallah was alleged to have conspired with Prince Hamzah, the king’s half-brother, and to have sought international help in a plot in opposition to Abdullah. Hamzah stays below home arrest.

Awadallah was convicted in a closed trial that lasted simply six classes in a navy courtroom. The courtroom denied requests by protection legal professionals to name witnesses, and prosecutors shared solely purported transcripts, however not authentic audio recordings, from surveillance of the alleged plotters.

Ashcroft stated each the trial and the dominion’s refusal of the U.S. request confirmed a scarcity of due course of.

“It’s unimaginable to consider that any accountable, cautious, justice-oriented consideration was given by members of King Abdullah II’s regime that resulted on this mockery of internationally-accepted judicial course of and arbitrary denial of the U.S. State Division’s request,” Ashcroft wrote.

Abdullah and Hamzah are sons of King Hussein, who dominated Jordan for almost half a century earlier than his dying in 1999. Abdullah appointed Hamzah as crown prince upon his succession however stripped him of the title in 2004.

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