Jordanian sentenced to death over knife attack at tourist site

AMMAN (REUTERS) – A state security court in Jordan on Tuesday (Jan 12) sentenced a Jordanian to death and jailed two others for their role in a stabbing rampage against foreign tourists in 2019, judicial sources said.

Military judge Lieutenant Colonel Muwafaq al Masaeed told the court the men, in their early 20s, were involved in planning the attack in the ancient Roman city of Jerash in November 2019 that wounded three Mexican tourists and one Swiss, along with four local people, including a police officer.

The state security court found them guilty of “committing terrorist acts”, sentencing the main defendant to death by hanging and handing a life prison sentence to one accomplice and a seven year jail term to another.

The convicted men had pleaded not guilty in January 2020 at an earlier session of the security court, which is a form of military tribunal. Rights activists say Jordan’s military courts lack proper legal safeguards and say some confessions are extracted from detainees under duress.

Jordan had seen a surge in tourism before coronavirus hit global travel earlier last year and was considered by tour operators as one of the safest tourist destinations in the Middle East. Attacks on foreign tourists have been rare.

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