Jordan seals off Muslim Brotherhood headquarters

Jordanian police closes headquarters of Muslim Brotherhood in Amman

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

A boy stands at the main entrance of the original Muslim Brotherhood office, that is sealed with official wax after it was raided and shut down by police, in Amman, Jordan on April 13, 2016.

A senior figure of Jordan’s most vocal opposition group Muslim Brotherhood, Jamil Abu Bakr, said on Wednesday that police shut down the group’s headquarters in Amman.

According to Abu Bakr, police acting on orders of the Amman governor evacuated staff and closed down the building, giving no reason for their actions.

"We are not a group that is rebellious or operating outside the law. This is not an appropriate means to deal with us ... deploying heavy-handed security measures against us rather than reaching understandings," Abu Bakr said.

There was no official comment from authorities about sealing the headquarters. But one official told Reuters privately that the move was related to legal claims by the faction, backed by the authorities, aimed at seizing its rival's assets after it won a judicial order pronouncing it as the legitimate group.

The group says closures would bring “martial law with the absence of law and justice,” and it would take legal and political measures to combat “these illegal pressures.”

The Brotherhood spokesman Badi Rafai later said that the police closed another of its offices in the northern city of Jerash.

The main entrance of the original Muslim Brotherhood office, is sealed with official wax after it was raided and shut down by police, in Amman, Jordan on April 13, 2016 (AP)

Senior group members say that the closures are politically motivated and illegal. They were also warned not to hold their Shura council elections which they nevertheless went ahead with this month.

However, Brotherhood figures say the elections for the four-year terms on the council, its highest leadership body, were not held to challenge the authorities.

Diplomats say the latest move could pave the way for outlawing the main group and handing over its assets to the pro-government faction to ensure that it participates in parliamentary elections expected by the end of this year or in early 2017.

The group which is close in ideology to its Egyptian homonym, played significant role in Arab Spring pro-democracy protests.

The movement has operated legally in Jordan for decades and has widespread grass-roots support in major urban centres  and has scores of offices across the country.

Its political arm, the Islamic Action Front, is the kingdom's largest opposition party and represents many disenfranchised Jordanians of Palestinian origin, who are in the majority of the population of seven million.

TRTWorld and agencies