Jordan arrested a senior member of the country’s Muslim Brotherhood Tuesday on charges of “incitement” against the authorities, a judicial source said, as the group’s political wing demanded his release.
Mohamed Said Bakr, a member of the Brotherhood’s consultative council, was detained for 15 days by prosecutors after criticising the government at an event marking the end of the conflict in Gaza, the source said.
The Jordanian Brotherhood’s political wing, the Islamic Action Front, condemned the arrest.
“It is unacceptable that clerics and activists should be arrested on the basis of positions they expressed,” said IAF Secretary General Mohamed al-Zayoud on the party’s website.
Zayoud called for the “immediate release” of Bakr, saying that “stable regimes would not be threatened by a speech given at a festival or expressing an opinion”.
Israel waged a 50-day campaign against militants in the Gaza Strip during July and August, in a conflict that cost more than 2,100 Palestinian lives and 73 on the Israeli side.
The Hamas movement that dominates the Gaza Strip has ties to the Brotherhood.
At the event in Amman on Friday, Bakr used insulting terms to describe Jordan’s leaders, and accused the government of being “subject to the United States”.
He also congratulated Gazans for their “victory” against Israel and said he was “waiting for and hoping to celebrate the victory of Jordan and the victory of Jordanian men and the victory of the Jordanian army, while we are on the longest frontlines” with Israel”.
Formed in Egypt in 1928, branches of the Muslim Brotherhood appeared across the region in the following years. The Jordanian movement is tolerated by the authorities and has wide grassroots support.