Cairo 1 April 2012
ANHRI condemns what was done by the Jordanian authorities on Saturday during the resolution of activists’ sit-in near the Prime Minister Head office in Amman. Authorities dispersed and arrested ten peaceful demonstrators in the escalation of the situation of Tafila that began on the fifth of March.
Jordanian activists decided organizing a sit-in of 150 activists, demanding the release of six detainees facing charges of disrespecting the king and abuse of the system. Jordanian police reacted in violence, hitting demonstrators and arresting at least 12 activists claiming that the demonstrators violated the public order and verbally abused the police and chanted slogans insulting to the king!
In a move that threatened freedom of opinion and expression and peaceful protest right within the Kingdom of Jordan, the authorities announced the decision to prevent any gatherings in the vital places which would impede traffic.
It is noteworthy that there are 15 Jordanian facing the charge of disrespecting the king before military courts, including a child under 18 years old had to face penalties up to imprisonment for a length of three years.
ANHRI commented: “The arrest of activists for peacefully expressing their views is unfortunate and a clear violation of freedom of expression while referring citizens to the military tribunals is another violation of their right to a fair trial.”
ANHRI calls upon the Jordanian government to immediately release all prisoners of conscience within the Kingdom, and stop the referral of civilians to military trials, and to cease harassment of peaceful gatherings of citizens advocating reforms and allow them to greater and enjoy freedom of opinion and expression as political rights.