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Mudar Zahran

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Picture of Mudar Zahran in Jerusalem

Mudar Zahran (born 19 April 1973) is a Jordanian Palestinian writer and the secretary general of the Jordanian Opposition Coalition. In 2010, Zahran moved to live in the United Kingdom. In 2014, Zahran was indicted by a Jordanian military court for four separate charges against him.

Biography

Born on 19 April 1973, Zahran is a Jordanian national opposition writer of Palestinian origin.[1] Zahran's parents were born in Jerusalem, and moved to Jordan during the period when the West Bank was under Jordanian control (1950–1967).[1] He has two master's degrees and was reported in 2012 to have been completing a Ph.D in finance.[1] Before seeking asylum in the UK, Zahran was serving as assistant policy coordinator at the United States Embassy in Amman.[1]

In 2010, Zahran wrote an article in The Jerusalem Post that described Jordan as an apartheid state in its treatment against Palestinians,[2] he also claims the Jordanian state resembles that of South Africa's former apartheid.[3] The article provoked an uproar of criticism by both Jordanians and Palestinians alike.[4] Shortly after the article was published, Mudar sent a letter of apology through Ammon News after his father Adnan Zahran threatened to cut off relations if the former wrote anything else and considered Mudar's continuation of writing as "ingratitude" on a personal level against his father, and as an "ungratefulness" towards Jordan.[2] The father described Mudar's writings as far from truth and reality.[2] Mudar vowed through the letter dating 26 July 2010 to "not publish any articles or reports in any language related to Jordanian domestic or foreign affairs."[2] He continued: "This decision comes because of I have sensed clearly that my articles are being misunderstood and exploited by some against my precious country whether by ill intention or misunderstanding."[2]

After leaving Amman to live in the United Kingdom in 2010, a local gazette published an announcement on 31 May 2011 by Amman's Magistrates' court calling on Mudar to present himself at court for a lawsuit filed against him by the HSBC bank branch in Jordan.[5] The announcement said he was called for failing to repay the bank amounts totaling up to 47,000 Jordanian Dinars (about $66,000).[6]

He told The Times of Israel in 2012, "The King (Abdullah II) is not going to survive, it’s out of the question... I give him until next summer, more or less. And even if I am wrong, I can’t see the King making it to 2014 by any stretch."[1]

Trial

In December 2013, Zahran was charged by a Jordanian military court and scheduled to be tried in absentia for four separate charges against him: "inciting hatred against the regime, sectarian strife and insulting the king as well as security services."[7] According to the Jordanian newspaper Al Ghad, "Zahran's social networking sites carry articles and phrases offensive to Jordan and his own people (Palestinians)."[8] In February 2014, The Jerusalem Post reported that Zahran had been convicted and sentenced in absentia to jail with hard labor.[9] The reports concerning the length of his sentence differed, with AFP reporting earlier that he might face up to 15 years.[9]

Personal life

Zahran lives in London and has two daughters and a son.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Assouline, Philippe (31 December 2012). "Preaching the gospel of liberalism to the Jordanian street". Times of Israel. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Zahran:"I will not write on Jordanian domestic, foreign affairs any more"". Ammon News. 2010-07-26. Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  3. ^ "Jordanian court indicts Palestinian writer in absentia". UPI. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  4. ^ "تهجّم على المُعارض مضر زهران في إسرائيل بالشماغ الأردني". Almshaheer.com. 2013-11-20. Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  5. ^ "مضر زهران .. محكوم ومجهول مكان". Ammonnews.net. 2011-09-18. Retrieved 2016-01-20. 
  6. ^ "مضر زهران .. محكوم ومجهول مكان الاقامة". Sahafi.jo. 2011-09-19. Retrieved 2015-10-05. 
  7. ^ "Jordan critic charged with incitement, insulting king". The Daily Star (Lebanon). Agence France-Press. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Ben Solomon, Ariel (31 December 2013). "Jordanian Palestinian who writes for 'Post' indicted in Jordan for 'inciting hatred'". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Ben Solomon, Ariel (16 February 2014). "Jordanian Palestinian who writes for 'Post' sentenced by Jordan to jail with hard labor". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 28 June 2016.