Jordanian 'Normalizers' Sue Busters amid Efforts for 'Political Settlement'
Albawaba.com - Amman
Jordanian firms and individuals have decided to sue activists for including their names on a 68-name black list of people who have contacts with Israeli parties. The motion will be based on the claim that the accusations have caused suspected "normalizers" financial and moral damage.
In a statement to Albawaba.com, chairman of al Ramz construction company, Abdul Razzaq Dajani, said his firm has decided to file criminal cases against members of the professional associations' anti-normalization committee, who are being under interrogation by the state security prosecutor.
Last month, head of the Islamists-dominated committee Ali Abu Sukkar and six of his colleagues were arrested following the publication of the list in a periodical issued by the associations' union. The eighth is Ali Hattar, who is in Iraq.
Citing health reasons Wednesday, the authorities released on a JD10,000 ($14,000)-bail Mohammad Abu Jbara, a lawyer, to join other two bailed last week.
According to sources, only Abu Sukkar and Hattar have been indicted, but the number of suspects have increased to include two famous actresses, Juliet Awwad and Margo Aslan, with the total of suspects reaching 21.
Journalist Hashem Khalidi and Huda Fakhouri, a physician, have also being interrogated for belonging to an unauthorized group and issuing material that might provoke revengeful acts against the people enlisted as normalizers.
Khalidi told Albawaba.com that the prosecutor, Colonel Mahmoud Obeidat, interrogated him and other four suspects for three hours before they were bailed for JD10,000 each.
He said the prosecutor did not pressure him in any way and treated him "with respect." The questions revolved around the periodical and the work of the committee, he added.
Meanwhile, sources told Albawaba.com that former speaker of the Lower House, Saad Srour, is trying to mediate between the government and the 130,000-strong professional associations. The government's condition to a "political settlement," is that the associations' council apologize publicly for publishing the list and dismantle the anti-normalization committee.
Each of the 13 associations has its own committee, and representatives are members of a mother committee at the level of all associations. The total number of members exceeds 1200, said one of them.
For their part, the professionals threw their gloves in the government's face when they held a rally two days ago at which they insisted their crusade against pro-normalization citizens would go on despite suppressive measures by the authorities.
However, dovish members of the associations' council were quoted by the sources as saying that a statement is to be released soon worded in a way that satisfies all parties involved in the dispute.
Head of the council, Azzam Hneidi, has previously admitted that the committee had exceeded the limits and rushed the publication of the list.
The successive governments have accused the associations of being too much involved in politics, while ignoring the reason for their existence, that is: shepherding the interests of their members.
In the government's viewpoint, anti-normalization activities undertaken by the activists since Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994, are harmful to the country's already ailing economy.
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)