Jordan suspects allege torture

Fourteen men charged with plotting terrorism and sparking riots which killed six people in southern Jordan in 2002 have told a military court that their confessions were extracted under duress.

    Security forces moved in to quell unrest in Maan in 2002

    "Interrogators forced me to sign a guilty confession under beating and torture," testified defendant Muhammad Ahmad al-Chalabi on Sunday, the purported leader of a 108-member cell which allegedly plotted to strike in the southern city of Maan.

    "I neither committed any act of terrorism, nor have I plotted to strike Maan or kill anyone," added al-Chalabi, also known as Abu-Sayyaf, echoing testimonies by the other 13 alleged cell members in police custody.

    The 14 defendants, along with 94 others at large who are being tried in absentia, are charged with seven crimes which include launching terrorist attacks in November 2002 in Maan, 210km, south of Amman.

    Six people, including two police officers, were killed in shootouts between armed men and police during unrest in the southern desert city.

    Prosecutors claim al-Chalabi urged his followers to rebel against Maan city officials, including the mayor and police chief.

    Contesting the charges

    The defendants have pleaded innocent to all the charges, which also include illegal possession of automatic arms and explosives, importing arms, holding illegal gatherings and rioting.

    If convicted on all counts, the defendants face the death penalty.

    Al-Chalabi is serving 15 years in jail for another case in which 13 men were charged with plotting terror attacks against US targets in Jordan.

    The trial was adjourned for a week.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Assad to Putin: Thank you for 'saving our country'

    Assad to Putin: Thank you for 'saving our country'

    Russian and Syrian presidents meet to discuss strategy against 'terrorism' and political settlement options.

    What is behind the covert Israeli-Saudi relations?

    What is behind the covert Israeli-Saudi relations?

    Analysts say that the recent covert ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia are due to a new regional paradigm.

    Is Saudi Arabia becoming a danger to the region?

    Is Saudi Arabia becoming a danger to the region?

    We talk to US Congressman Ro Khanna about power politics and debate Mohammed bin Salman's new strategy for the Kingdom.