Jordan: Members of Islamic Action Front party arrested

Published April 9th, 2006 - 02:07 GMT

Jordan's opposition Islamic Action Front party (IAF) has accused the authorities of arresting scores of its members for handing out leaflets against fuel increases that have gone into effect.

 

The government late Saturday announced price hikes of petrol, gas and home heating oil from between 12 and 43 percent in an attempt to cut the budget deficit.

 

There were conflicting reports on the number of people arrested by the authorities over the past few days for distributing leaflets, urging Jordanian public servants to observe a two-hour work stoppage Sunday over the price hikes.

 

Officials from the IAF, however, told AFP that most of those detained were soon released.

 

IAF MP Azzam Heneidi said about 40 partisans were rounded up, with only three remaining in custody in the northern city of Irbid.

 

A statement posted by IAF Secretary General Zaki Bani Rsheid on the party's website said "around 20" had been detained.

 

Generally speaking, the call for the work stoppage was unheeded as many shops remained open in Amman, according to AFP.

 

The IAF and opposition parties have also called for a sit-in outside parliament but said that Amman governor Saad al-Manasseer refused to give them a permit.

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