(MENAFN - Jordan Times) The State Security Court on Monday rejected the bail requests of six Tafileh activists, as supporters of the detainees said they would appeal to human rights organisations to take up their case.
Yesterday's decision marked the fifth time in less than two weeks the tribunal has refused to release the activists, who currently face charges of slandering the King and "inciting illegal acts", which are punishable by up to three years in prison.
In lieu of renewing their bail request, the activists' legal team said they would appeal to human rights organisations such as National Centre for Human Rights to secure the detainees' release on "humanitarian grounds".
"The ongoing detention of these young men for their political views is unconstitutional and against international human rights charters Jordan has signed," Thaher Abu Jihad, one of the detainees' lawyers, told The Jordan Times.
"We believe that highlighting this fact may be the only way to secure their release."
The lawyer stressed that they would not request an official pardon, similar to those granted to so-called political prisoners in the past, stressing that the six activists "have not broken any laws".
"As these are political activists and not criminals, we refuse any pardon, Royal or otherwise," Abu Jihad told said.
Meanwhile, the men - all members of the Free Tafileh Movement - were moved from Jweideh Prison to the Zarqa Correctional Facility on Sunday, according to the Public Security Department (PSD).
The activists' relatives and supporters criticised the court's refusal to release the men on bail, claiming that their continued detention comes as part of a wider "conspiracy" to intimidate pro-reformists and discourage them from protesting.
"We knew from day one that this was a politically motivated arrest campaign supported by the security services to silence the pro-reform movement," said Um Amaar Qableen, mother of Majdi Qableen, one of the detained activists.
The PSD rejected the activists' claims, insisting that the six were arrested for disrupting public order.
"We support and protect peaceful expressions of political views, but what these activists did crossed a red line," PSD Spokesperson Lt. Col. Mohammed Khatib told The Jordan Times.
The activists' supporters say they doubt the government's recent pledge to review the activists' detention would lead to their release, claiming that the final decision rests in the hands of "the General Intelligence Department and the Royal Court".
"The intelligence department was behind their arrest, pressuring the State Security Court to refuse their bail request, and we believe they will undermine the government's efforts to free them," Qableen said.
In a meeting with political parties last week, Prime Minister Awn Khasawneh said the government would study the case of the six Tafileh residents, who were arrested for their alleged participation in a protest over unemployment in the southern city that devolved into violence earlier this month.
Supporters deny any links between the Free Tafileh Movement and the riots, claiming that two of the accused were not present in the governorate at the time of the unrest and that the activists are being detained for their political beliefs.
The activists deny slandering the King or inciting "illegal acts", claiming that bold slogans in weekly protests accusing former and current officials of corruption were the true reason behind their arrests.