Jordan Islamists: leader detained in Saudi Arabia

AFP, Sunday 2 Jan 2011

Jordan's Islamist opposition said on Sunday that Saudi authorities have arrested one of its leaders during a visit to the Red Sea port of Jeddah, and urged his "urgent release."

"Khaled Hasanein left for Jeddah last Monday and he was arrested at the airport by the Saudi authorities and taken to an unknown destination," said Hamzeh Mansur, leader of the powerful Islamic Action Front (IAF) party.

"We have requested a meeting with the Saudi ambassador in Amman but there was no response. We call for Hasanein's urgent release and we demand the Jordanian foreign ministry do its utmost to release him."

In a statement posted on the IAF's website, Mansur said the government had not informed the party why Hasanein was detained. Hasanein headed the IAF's central media committee and was a member of the shura advisory council, the highest decision-making authority within the movement.

Government officials were not immediately available for comment. The IAF is the political arm of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood.

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