Jordanian security services on Wednesday closed the Amman headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s main opposition force, a security source and lawyer for the movement said.
“Jordanian security searched the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood and evacuated it before sealing off the entrance with red wax,” lawyer Abdelkader al-Khatib told AFP.
“This is clearly a political decision in line with what is happening in the region,” he added.
A security source told AFP that the movement’s headquarters were “closed on the order of the governor of the capital as the Brotherhood did not obtain legal authorization” for its activities.
The Jordanian authorities view the Brotherhood as an illegal organization because its licence was not renewed in accordance with a political parties law adopted in 2014.
The Jordanian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was formed in Egypt in 1928 and has affiliates across the region, has wide grassroots support in the kingdom.
Tolerated for decades in Jordan, the Brotherhood has had tense relations with the authorities since the Arab Spring uprisings that shook the region in 2011. In Egypt it has been blacklisted as a “terrorist group.”
The intervention of the security services “has the sole purpose of influencing the upcoming elections and results,” Khatib said.
Jordan is expected to hold legislative elections by early next year. The Brotherhood boycotted previous elections in 2013 and 2010, crying foul.
The movement accuses the authorities of trying to exploit divisions within the organization. Last year the government authorized the formation of a breakaway group known as the Muslim Brotherhood Association.