Jordan. On February 15, a security court sentenced
Jordanian Abu Musab az-Zarqawi, leader of the al-Qaeda
terrorist network in Iraq, to death. He was convicted of his
absence for planning a series of chemical attacks in 2004 in
J. Eight other supporters were also sentenced to death,
including designated chief Azmi al-Jayusi. Two defendants
were jailed for between one and three years while two were
released. It was the third death sentence announced in J.
against az-Zarqawi, which was previously convicted of the
murder in October 2002 on an American diplomat. A Jordanian
and a Libyan were executed on March 11 for involvement in
CountryAAH, prosecution was brought on March 14 against az-Zarqawi
and ten of his supporters for the suicide attacks in
November 2005 against three hotels in the capital, Amman,
which claimed 60 fatalities. Az-Zarqawi's group had
previously said they were behind the death, which caused
great disgust in J. An Iraqi woman, Sajida al-Rishawi, who
was the only one of the defendants present in the court was
sentenced to death on September 21. A higher court would try
the verdict. She could be arrested because she could not
release her bomb belt. Her husband was one of three male
Memorial ceremonies were held on the anniversary of the
Jordan and the United States decided that az-Zarqawi, who
was killed in a US air raid in Iraq on June 7, would be
buried in a secret location in Iraq. They feared otherwise
that the tomb would become a place of pilgrimage.
Four MPs in Jordan's largest opposition party, the Islamic
Action Front (IAF), were jailed for "uplifting" in June
after expressing their participation with az-Zarqawi's
family. King Abdullah pardoned two of the members sentenced
to 13 months in prison on September 30.
Jordan's parliament adopted an anti-terror law in August,
according to which suspected terrorists can be detained for
two weeks. Another law was enacted to prevent mosques from
being used to spread propaganda.
A security court sentenced nine people to death on March
22 for involvement in the riots that in 2002 hit the town of
Maan in southern Jordan, an Islamist stronghold. Another 25 were
jailed for up to ten years.
The human rights organization Amnesty International
claimed July 24 that Jordan received and tortured prisoners that
US authorities secretly brought between different countries.
Ten cases were named but more could not be excluded.
A British tourist was killed and five other foreigners
were injured on September 4 when a gun-armed man fired
several shots in Amman's center. Authorities said it was a
In addition to the unrest that spilled over from Iraq, on
April 18, Jordan also reported a seizure of weapons intended for
the militant Palestinian movement Hamas. Several people were
arrested and J. also canceled a planned visit by Palestinian
Foreign Minister Mahmud al-Zahar who took office in March.
Hamas rebutted the fact that rocket ramps, explosives and
automatic weapons were stored.
In connection with Id al-fitr, the festival marking the
end of the fasting month of Ramadan, King Abdullah pardoned
138 prisoners, including nine who were arrested in
connection with the armistice.
Iraq's Vice President Tariq Hashimi visited Amman on
October 17 for talks on security issues, the economy and
US President George W. Bush met Iraq's Prime Minister
Nouri al-Maliki in Jordan on November 30 in new attempts to stop
the violence in Iraq.
The editor-in-chief of the weekly newspapers al-Shihan
and al-Mihwar were brought to trial in February after
publishing some of the controversial Mohammed cartoons of
the Danish Jutland Post. They were later sentenced to two
months in prison and al-Shihan's editor-in-chief was
In November, Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit steered the
government, but 14 of the 23 ministers retained their
positions, including the foreign and home ministers.