Top court deals blow to Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood organization

The Court of Cassation ruling said the Muslim Brotherhood did not correct its legal status. (Petra)
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Updated 17 July 2020

Top court deals blow to Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood organization

  • The ruling considers the group illegal because it did not correct its legal status in accordance with Jordanian laws

AMMAN: A five-man court of cassation in Jordan has ruled that the country’s Muslim Brotherhood has no right to property and other assets that previously belonged to the dissolved Islamist organization.
“The court headed by Judge Mohammad Matruq Ajarmeh ruled that the 2015-registered Brotherhood’s claims to the defunct organization are invalid since the latter no longer exists legally,” a statement said.
Moath Khawaldeh, spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood, said that the decision was not final and could be appealed.
Khawaldeh was quoted as saying that the legal team of the Muslim Brotherhood was ready to carry out legal submissions as soon
as possible.
Advocate Bassam Freihat also said that the decision of the high Jordanian court was not final and could be challenged in the appeals court.
Freihat said that the current Muslim Brotherhood was fighting different legal cases to regain its assets and that it had lost some cases and won others.
The organization was registered in Jordan in 1946 and has been participating in politics there ever since. It has been represented in Jordan’s parliament in successive years, including the current parliament, under the guise of the Islamic Action Front party.
A section of the Muslim Brotherhood split off and established a new organization with the same name, which was registered with the Ministry of Social Affairs. The new organization is fighting in the courts to regain its assets from the mother organization.
Marwan Shehadeh, an expert on Islamic political parties, told Radio Al-Balad that while “this is a legal decision it has political consequences because it reflects the differences between successive governments and the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Islamists have participated in general elections through the Islamic Action Front, and according to Shehadeh still wield political power. “Despite having lost this case, the Muslim Brotherhood through their political arm continues to be effective when they choose because they are able to take positions independently.”
During the elections of the current 18th Jordanian parliament, candidates from the Islamic Action Front won 15 of the 130 seats. New elections are expected this fall, although no official decision or royal decree has been issued about this.
Shehadeh believes that the current Muslim Brotherhood may try to find a loophole to appeal the ruling, but expressed skepticism about the success of such an effort.
“The government insists on the illegitimacy of the Muslim Brotherhood as far as the assets are concerned. I am sure that the government will do everything it can to not allow the transfer of the assets that used to belong to the old 1946-registered organization to the new 2015-registered organization that has been certified as a legal entity.”

Lebanon information minister quits in first government resignation over blast

Updated 45 min 56 sec ago

Lebanon information minister quits in first government resignation over blast

  • Manal Abdel-Samad apologizes to the Lebanese public for failing them
  • Explosion killed more than 150 people and destroyed swathes of the capital

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s information minister Manal Abdel Samad on Sunday quit in the first government resignation since a deadly port blast killed more than 150 people and destroyed swathes of the capital.

“After the enormous Beirut catastrophe, I announce my resignation from government,” she said in a statement carried by local media, apologizing to the Lebanese public for failing them.

The head of Lebanon’s Maronite church meanwhile called on the entire government to step down over the August 4 explosion, a blast widely seen as shocking proof of the rot at the core of the state apparatus.

Lebanese protesters enraged by the blast vowed to rally again after a night of street clashes in which they stormed several ministries.

Maronite patriarch Beshara Rai joined the chorus of people pressing Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s cabinet to step down over a blast he said could be “described as a crime against humanity.”

“It is not enough for a lawmaker to resign here or a minister to resign there,” Rai said in a Sunday sermon.

“It is necessary, out of sensitivity to the feelings of the Lebanese and the immense responsibility required, for the entire government to resign, because it is incapable of moving the country forward.”

Rai echoed calls by Diab for early parliamentary polls — a long-standing demand of a protest movement that began in October, demanding the removal of a political class deemed inept and corrupt.

He also joined world leaders, international organizations and the angry Lebanese public by pressing for an international probe into an explosion authorities say was triggered by a fire in a port warehouse, where a huge shipment of hazardous ammonium nitrate had languished for years.

President Michel Aoun on Friday rejected calls for an international investigation, which he said would “dilute the truth.”

At least six lawmakers have quit since the explosion.

Under increased pressure from the street and foreign partners exasperated by the leadership’s inability to enact reforms, Diab’s government is fraying at the edges.