Jordanians call for release of 'political prisoners' held in Saudi Arabia as MbS visits Amman

Jordanians call for release of 'political prisoners' held in Saudi Arabia as MbS visits Amman
A committee is demanding the release of Jordanians held in Saudi Arabia, ahead of a visit by the Saudi crown prince to Amman
2 min read
21 June, 2022
The detained Jordanians and Palestinians were accused of supporting organisations like Hamas [Getty]

Family members and activists are demanding Saudi Arabia release dozens of Jordanian political prisoners held in the kingdom, as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visits Amman on Tuesday as part of a regional tour.

The Jordanian Detainees Committee is calling for the release of 25 Jordanian detainees accused by Saudi Arabia of supporting banned organisations such as Hamas.

A statement issued by the committee said the Jordanian government must raise the issue with MbS during his visit to Jordan.

It is the de-facto Saudi ruler's first visit to the neighbouring kingdom since he was made crown prince exactly five years ago.

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Between February and August 2019, Saudi authorities detained 68 Jordanians and Palestinians living in the kingdom, accusing them of providing support to the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.

Saudi Arabia designated Hamas as a terrorist group after years of bumpy but mostly cordial relations.

Saudi Arabia and other regional states began a massive crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, a movement Hamas is connected to, following the 2011 Arab Spring.

Among the detainees is 83-year-old Mohammed Al-Khudari, who was previously Hamas' representative to Saudi Arabia.

He was suffering from cancer when he was arrested and lost the ability to move his right hand while in detention due to inadequate healthcare. 

In December, Saudi Arabia reduced Al-Khudari’s sentence from 15 years to three.

Other detainees have been tortured, activists allege.