Jordan Security Court sentences suspects in 'Hamas Cell' case

Jordan Security Court sentences suspects in 'Hamas Cell' case
2 min read
28 July, 2015
Jordan's State Security Court on Tuesday passed sentences against those accused in the so called 'Hamas Cell' case ranging from one to 15 years in jail.
Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood protest Israeli attacks on Gaza, August 2014 [Salah Malkawi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images]
Jordan's State Security Court (SSC) - a military court - on Tuesday prison sentenced 12 people in the so called "Hamas cell".

The defendants were charged with making explosives with the intent to disturb public order, jeopardise the safety and security of the community, and recruit individuals to join armed groups , a reference to Hamas.

The sentences ranged from one year in prison to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour. The SSC found four defendants innocent among the 16 who were on trial in this case.

Tough sentences were issued against four who were tried and convicted in absentia after being considered fugitives from justice. Two of them turned out to be locked up in Israeli prisons.

As the verdicts were underway, dozens of members of the Jordanian Engineers Association - a trade union of engineers - held a sit-in in front of the SSC voicing rejection for the verdicts, which they considered to be targeting the Palestinian resistance. The protesters repeated slogans glorifying and supporting the resistance.

The majority of those convicted in the "Hamas case" were members of the trade union of engineers, including prisoners who were freed from Israeli prisons. Most of them belonged to the Islamic movement.

Member of the defence team, lawyer Hikmat Rawashdeh, said the sentences were harsh and historic as they criminalise those who support the Palestinian resistance and defend holy sites, making it difficult for anyone to support them in future for fear of punishment.