Jordanian authorities storm protest critical of king

Jordanian authorities storm protest critical of king

Jordanian authorities arrested two-dozen political activists following a protest critical of King Abdullah II that called for a change of government, dpa reported.

Anti-riot forces stormed a sit-in opposite the prime ministry in Amman after participants protesting the ongoing detention of six pro-democracy activists chanted slogans criticising the Jordanian monarch and threatening "regime change."

To date, Jordan's 13-month old protest movement has been largely peaceful, with activists calling for "regime reform" rather than regime change and alleging corruption by key advisers within the Royal Court. But in a sign that Jordan's tolerance of post-Arab Spring free speech is waning, the government is moving to detain activists for acts deemed insulting to the monarch.

According to eyewitnesses and participants, police moved in at the moment some 150 activists began chanting slogans critical of the "residents of Raghdan palace"- an indirect reference to King Abdullah and a violation of the country's penal code.

"As soon as participants raised slogans that were critical of the regime, gendarmerie forces stormed the protest with force," Mohammed Qatashat, protest participant and organiser of the Free Tafileh Movement, a Jordanian pro-democracy youth movement, told dpa.

Eyewitnesses said participants also warned that Jordanians would "topple the regime" should its "injustices against the people" continue.

Jordanian authorities said that police arrested 24 activists for "unlawful and disorderly gathering" in violation of the country's public gathering law, not for the content of their slogans.

"The participants were stopping traffic and we requested them several times to relocate their sit-in, which they refused," the spokesman for the public security department Mohammed Khatib told dpa.

"We consider any gathering that disrupts public life to be a non-peaceful protest and in this case, we responded appropriately," he said.

According to Khatib, police interrogated the two-dozen activists and transferred them to the judiciary, an indication that authorities will likely make further arrests.

Activists put the number of those arrested at 35, and said several had been referred to the military State Security Court for slandering the King, a charge that carries an up to three-years in prison.

Khatib declined to confirm whether the arrested protestors face charges of defaming the king.

In a statement to the state news agency Petra, government spokesman Rakan Majali said the arrests came as a response to protestors "violating common decency" and stressed Amman's "respect" for "peaceful, civilised and legal" expressions of opinion.

Earlier in March, six pro-democracy activists were detained in the town of Tafileh, 179 kilometres south of Amman, for slandering the King and "inciting illegal acts."

The six activists deny the charges, claiming their arrests were retribution for statements accusing senior officials of corruption - including the head of the country's intelligence department and the brother of Queen Rania.

In a statement on Saturday, Britain-based rights organisation Amnesty International called on Jordan to release the six activists, whom it said were being held for "exercising their right to freedom of expression" and being "punished for their pro-reform views."

Armenia obligated under int'l law to provide mine maps to Azerbaijan - Matthew Bryza
Armenia obligated under int'l law to provide mine maps to Azerbaijan - Matthew Bryza
Another batch of munition left by Armenian soldiers found in Azerbaijan's Khojavand
Another batch of munition left by Armenian soldiers found in Azerbaijan's Khojavand
Azerbaijan commemorating 5th anniversary of April 2016 military success in Karabakh (UPDATE)
Azerbaijan commemorating 5th anniversary of April 2016 military success in Karabakh (UPDATE)
Loading Bars
Biden set to withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11
Number of COVID-2019 cases across globe up by over 567,000 in past day — WHO
Iranian nuclear deal meeting in Vienna rescheduled to April 15
Kazakhstan expects positive dynamics in oil industry
Erdogan reveals stricter COVID-19 measures in Turkey during Ramadan
Iran's annual iron ore concentrate output nears 50mn tons
Deputy Finance Minister: Georgia ranks first in Europe with economic growth rate according to IMF
Southern Gas Corridor increases liquidity in European gas markets
Uzbekistan-India trade grows to record high in 2020
Azerbaijan plans to organize personal account system for auditors
China's 2M2021 import of Azerbaijani products surges in value
Exchange of all data necessary to conduct effective demining is required - OSCE MG
Baku to host international gymnastics competitions again
German gov't approves uniform nationwide COVID-19 response measures
Russia's daily COVID-19 cases record lowest in months
Iran to start 60% enrichment tonight: Nuclear spokesman
Israel to allow vaccinated tourists in starting late May
Biden confirms invitation to Putin to take part in climate summit
Presidents of Azerbaijan, Belarus have informal meeting
IMF unveils forecast on Azerbaijan's oil export for 2021-2022
Azerbaijani FM, Romanian ambassador stress high level of development of bilateral political relations (PHOTO)
Special equipment of Belarus assembled in Azerbaijan may be exported to Turkey
Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry responds to Armenia's statement on War Trophy Park
President of Belarus pays working visit to Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
Moscow, Tehran attach great importance to North-South Corridor – Russian FM
Azerbaijani president gives weighty answer to Armenia’s disinformation campaign - Official (VIDEO)
Belarus reveals plans for oil purchases from Azerbaijan
Kazakhstan’s FlyArystan launching direct flights to Georgia
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on April 14
International Bank of Azerbaijan opens tender to buy printed materials
Azerbaijan's Aghdam needs to be fully rebuilt - German historian (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan's PM meets with BP's regional president
Ukraine may take part in restoration of Azerbaijan's liberated lands
Azerbaijani Finance Ministry places short-term bonds on auction
Iron ore concentrate production by major Iranian companies increases
President Ilham Aliyev: Pakistan was among countries that openly supported Azerbaijan from first days of confrontation
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price again falling
Sudan due to send first delegation to Israel next week
Liabilities of Bank Melli Iran’s Baku branch increase
Armenia obligated under int'l law to provide mine maps to Azerbaijan - Matthew Bryza
Footage from Azerbaijani Jabrayil's Sadi village (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan, Ukraine discuss full resumption of mutual flights
Oil exports via Barents Sea in Lukoil system increased
Hydrometeorology in Azerbaijan needs young experts for technologies - ministry
Azerbaijan shares latest data on mine clearance work carried out on liberated lands
Co-op between Iran, Russia to be effective in activating nuclear deal – Rouhani
2021 demand for OPEC crude to be higher than in 2020
Assets of Iranian Bank Melli's branch in Azerbaijan increase
On Independence Day eve Israel's population over 9.3m
Iran still waiting for S.Korea to provide solution, release its blocked assets
Azerbaijan issues data on number of COVID-19 vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 2,457 more COVID-19 cases, 2,002 recoveries
OPEC revises up forecasts for Azerbaijan’s 2021 liquids supply
Rosatom can take part in developing green energy in Azerbaijan - expert
Repairing of last well in Iran's Naft Shahr field launched
Iran in favor of strengthening relations with Russia – President Rouhani
Azerbaijan Railways builds co-op on transiting additional goods
IMF talks forecast of money supply growth in Azerbaijan for 2021-2022
European Hydrogen Backbone’s updated cost revealed
IMF predicts growth for Azerbaijan's oil, non-oil GDP
Cargo movements in Iran’s Qeshm port down
Azerbaijan expects tourism sector to recover by summer
Plan on budget revenues surpassed in Kazakhstan
Scotland to ease some COVID-19 restrictions early
Around 70% of European infrastructure to start transporting hydrogen
U.S. will base 500 additional troops in Germany
Russia documents 8,173 coronavirus cases in past day, lowest figure since September 28
Kazakhstan names value of payments of compulsory vehicle insurance
Iran's mobile phone imports increase
Azerbaijani president signs order on hosting European Football Championship matches in Baku
Kazakhstan drafts pricing rules for exported crude oil, gas condensate
Retail trade indicators decrease in Kazakhstan
Kazakh Gas Refinery opens tender to buy spares
Kazakhstan records decrease in oil output
Belarusian IT company keen to expand its activities in Azerbaijan's transport sector
Iran’s Jam Petrochemical Company announces its production plan
Uzbekistan building modern wastewater treatment facility at Uzbekneftegaz GTL plant
Kazakh Gas Refinery opens tender to buy engines
Russian, Azerbaijani military discuss Iskander-M missile debris in Karabakh region - Russian official
Greece can take slightly more than 1 mcm/d via TAP
President Ilham Aliyev: Liberation of territories will be additional opportunities
President Ilham Aliyev: Armenians did it deliberately in order to erase legacy of Azerbaijani culture in order to erase these territories from our memories
Together with Russian president, we discussed issue about Iskander-M missile – Azerbaijani president
TAP supplies to Greece cause contraction in LNG imports
Kazakhstan attracts investments to develop national parks in Almaty region
European Commission makes statement on TAP
Russia’s Federal Air Transport Agency allows flights from Irkutsk to 3 countries
President Ilham Aliyev: I had a strong feeling during negotiations that Armenia doesn’t want a solution
President Ilham Aliyev: I think we need to be more active in order to try to build bridges
ADB focuses on renewable energy projects in Georgia
US eyes to continue negotiations on direct flights with Georgia
Bank of Georgia discusses revised outlook for country’s economic growth in 2021
Anabechdi company plans to produce textile in Georgia
Georgia to receive significant funds from IMF
Azerbaijan reveals 2M2021 data lending to energy, chemistry, natural resources sector
Georgian E-Space company looks to export its software
Death toll from coronavirus pandemic in Iran exceeds 65,000
Amount of Georgian bonds held by foreign investors up
JSC "Georgian Railway" reveals financial indicators for 2020
Uzbekistan, Russia discussing joint projects on aircraft construction
All news