King of Jordan vows to punish protesters with ‘iron fist’ as dozens apprehended
Jordanians have been taking to the streets of the kingdom to protest the government's decision to hike fuel prices for the 16th time in two years.
By News Desk - December 17 2022

FILE (Photo credit: Getty Images)

Jordanian King Abdullah II bin al-Hussein, visited on 16 December the hometown of police colonel Abdul-Razzaq Abdul-Hafez al-Dalabeh, who was murdered during violent protests that have swept several cities in the kingdom.

While wearing military attire, the king offered his condolences to the family, and promised to strike the “enemies of stability” with an iron fist.

Abdullah added that security forces will deal severely with anyone who raises arms against the state or attacks its property and personnel, vowing to not rest until the murderers of Dalabeh were brought to justice.

“We will not accept insults or assault against members of our security services who are vigilant about protecting our homeland and its citizens,” the king added.

Abdullah added that vandalism will not be tolerated, and will be dealt with as a serious violation of the security of the kingdom, during an address to tribal elders.

In light of these developments, the police directorate issued a statement about its ongoing investigations and stated they “will not stop until the perpetrators are arrested to be handed a deterrent punishment.”

The punishment intends to set an example to any Jordanian who would plan or consider similar attacks on the state and its personnel.

According to the Director of Public Security Major General Obaidullah al-Maaytah, about 49 Jordanian police members were injured during the protests.

Maaytah assumed the role of the director of public security in September, to tackle the growing gap in the relationship between the Jordanian throne and the tribes.

According authorities, at least 44 protesters were arrested for “participating in the riots in a number of regions in the kingdom.”

The statement added they “will be brought before the courts” to be punished to to the fullest extent permitted by law.

Two weeks ago, the transportation sector in Jordan announced a nationwide strike to protest the government’s decision to hike fuel prices for the 16th time in two years.

With the government’s failure to implement effective reforms that would protect lorry and taxi drivers, the strikes expanded to include everyday citizens who took the streets to express their discontent.

Jordanians called on the government to resign for its failure in safeguarding their livelihood.

Their call was supported by 17 parliamentarians who asked for the resignation of Bishr al-Khasawneh’s government, through a vote of no confidence at the parliament.

Nonetheless, the Minister of Interior Mazen Faraya applauded the government’s actions for handling the situation “wisely and with accountability.”

He added that all just demands will be addressed, but stressed on the upmost need to end the strike at vital sectors in the kingdom, to mitigate repercussions on the economy.

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