Jordanian court dissolves local Muslim Brotherhood branch

Jordan's top court says the country's branch of the Muslim Brotherhood failed to "rectify its legal status".

Elad Benari ,

Muslim Brotherhood supporters hold pro-Palestinian demonstration in Amman
Muslim Brotherhood supporters hold pro-Palestinian demonstration in Amman

Jordan's top court has dissolved the country's branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, an official said Thursday, citing the group's failure to "rectify its legal status".

"The Court of Cassation yesterday (Wednesday) issued a final verdict ruling that the Muslim Brotherhood group is dissolved... for failing to rectify its legal status under Jordanian law," the official said, according to AFP, requesting anonymity.

The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, is a pan-Islamic movement with both charitable and political arms.

It has faced years of pressure, especially in the wake of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings, and has been outlawed as a "terrorist" group in Egypt and banned in several other countries.

While Amman tolerated the group's political arm for decades, it designated the organization as a terrorist group in December of 2014. One of its top members was later charged with "souring ties with a foreign country" by criticizing the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The kingdom arrested several members of the group after they publicly criticized the government for not taking stronger measures to censure Israel after the Gaza war in the summer of 2014.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s Jordanian branch cut ties last March with the region-wide movement based in Egypt.

The Jordanian branch objects to Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel and has often organized protests calling for its cancellation.

In April 2016, security services closed the Brotherhood's Amman headquarters and several regional offices, transferring their ownership to the splinter group in a step the movement denounced as political.

The original Brotherhood took the case to court in a bid to retrieve the properties, but the court in its verdict Wednesday ordered it dissolved.

The Brotherhood argues that it had already obtained licenses to operate under previous laws in the 1940s and 1950s and stressed that it would appeal Wednesday's ruling.

The group's spokesman, Moaz al-Khawaldeh, said the Muslim Brotherhood did not consider the ruling as "final" and that a legal team was preparing to appeal.