(MENAFN - Jordan Times) One dozen activists face up to 10 years in prison for their participation in a Saturday protest that called for "regime change", as demonstrations demanding their release continued Monday.
According to the detainees' defence team and the Public Security Department (PSD), authorities forwarded 12 activists from Jerash, Ajloun, Tafileh and Amman to the State Security Court on Sunday where the group faces charges of "undermining the regime".
According to Mohammed Shaheet, member of the activists' defence team, the 12 detainees face charges of threatening the stability of the regime, slandering the Monarch, illegal assembly and inciting unrest - a series of charges that could collectively lead to 10 years in prison.
The PSD confirmed that authorities referred the activists to the SSC after releasing 28 detained participants in Sunday's protest - indicating the remaining detainees are currently being held at Muwaqqar Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre pending ongoing investigation.
Tens of protesters in Theiban near Madaba held an evening protest on Monday urging authorities to release the one-dozen activists as an open-ended sit-in in the Amman neighbourhood of Hay Al Tafaileh entered its third day.
Meanwhile, several released activists accused security forces of "torture", claiming that they were "severely beaten" by Gendarmerie and police forces during and after their arrest, allegations authorities refuted as "baseless".
"Some policemen were respectful, others beat detainees non-stop," Anas Rbeihat, a detained participant who was released late Saturday, told The Jordan Times.
The PSD dismissed the accusations as "lies", pointing out that the detainees underwent medical examinations following their arrests.
"The Public Security Department does not torture, does not beat detainees and does not mishandle citizens," PSD Spokesman Lt. Col Mohammed Khatib said.
"If there is any proof that torture or any mistreatment took place, we urge them to file an official complaint against the department."
The activists' defence team say they are going to raise a complaint against the department and Gendarmerie Forces, claiming that the treatment of the detainees "violated human rights".
"Several of the detainees exhibited clear signs of torture and they are undergoing independent medical examinations as we speak," the officer said.
The one-dozen activists were among 40 citizens arrested in connection with their participation in Saturday's protest in front of the Prime Ministry calling for the release of five Tafileh pro-reformists detained last month for slandering the King.
The PSD said that the security forces broke up the sit-in after participants started disrupting traffic, while activists insist that anti-riot forces stormed the gathering only after participants chanted the brazen slogans.
Authorities claim participants raised slogans insulting the King and threatening "regime change" if "injustices" continue, in violation of several items of the Penal Code criminalising speech and actions that threaten national security.
On Saturday, Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications and Government Spokesperson Rakan Majali criticised the activists for "abusing" the protest movement, describing the slogans as "violations of common decency and the values of the pro-reform movement".