Human Rights Activists Call on Jordan to Free Detainees Apprehended during Pro-Palestinian Rallies

Published December 21st, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

By Jihad Abu Falah - Amman 


In a meeting with the Jordanian Lower House’s Public Freedoms Committee on Wednesday, human rights activists stressed the necessity for securing public freedoms and free detainees arrested while taking part in pro-Intifada rallies and marches. 

Head of the committee, deputy Mohammad Azaydeh told the meeting that the parliamentary body has received several complaints from the families of the detained activists, and vowed to “use all the legal means to ensure that they are released.” 

Azaydeh said that a meeting will be held soon for that end between the committee members and the minister of interior, Awad Khleifat and the director of public security. 

However, the lawmaker called for parties involved to be objective enough to look at the other side of the issue. He said that “the citizen is not always right… and there has been a lot of prejudice against security services. 

“62 policemen have been hurt by stones hurled at them during the recent demonstrations,” he said. 

A member of the committee, Assaf Assaf agreed, saying that despite the violations committed by the security personnel, participants at the protests had their mistakes as well. 

But things have not been so bad as far as an activist is concerned. Member of the public freedoms committee at the professional associations, Hisham Bustani said that demonstrators clashed with the police only in eight activities out of the 345 rallies staged since the outbreak of the Intifada. 

Bustani, a dentist who has been detained twice himself for taking part in the activities, cited police statements to support his argument. 

“Police officials confirmed this during my detention,” he said. 

According to the dentist and Ibrahim Alloush, a human rights activist and a university lecturer, the government’s decision to ban public demonstrations, issued two weeks after the beginning of the Intifada, was against the international human rights declaration. 

Meanwhile, opposition political parties have requested a meeting with Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb to present their views regarding “the unjustified arrests of citizens due to their participation in the pro-Intifada activities.” 

In the same context, Islamists and nationalist activists in the southern city of Maan have staged an open sit-in, demanding the release of the detainees, two of whom are residents in the city. 

Maan has been a thorn in the side of the government since it has been the stage for two wide-scale uprisings in 1989 and 1996. 

The Jordanian human rightists say there are 13 protestors kept in police and General Intelligence custody. 



© 2000 Al Bawaba (

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