44 arrested in Jordan amid deadly fuel protests

Violent protests over rising fuel prices in Jordan were quelled on Saturday by the Public Security Directorate, which said it had arrested dozens of people. A senior police officer was shot dead during the protests.

Col Abdul Razzaq Al Dalabeh, the Maan province deputy police chief, was shot in the head during early Friday protests in Al Husseiniya, resulting in his death.

The security directorate said 44 people were arrested and will be brought before courts in a number of regions where riots occurred.

The statement said that “vandals and outlaws” were behind the violence in Maan, the country’s southern province, and that reinforcements had been sent there.

The interior minister, Mazen Al Faraya, said on Friday that the security services are working to arrest the perpetrator and bring him to justice as soon as possible.

On Friday, Jordan’s King Abdullah II visited the slain colonel’s family to express his condolences and said that “anyone who raises a weapon against the state will be dealt with firmly.”

On Friday, the colonel was buried in his hometown of Jeraash, about 60km north of Amman.

Ammon News reported that King Abdullah visited the hospital where two policemen who were wounded in the Al Husseiniya protests were being treated on Saturday.

On Saturday, Jordan’s cybercrime unit announced that the video-sharing platform TikTok was being temporarily suspended in the kingdom because user posts “laud and publish violent acts” and called for “chaos.”

“The unit monitors all that is posted on social media platforms, particularly posts related to hate speech, incitation to sabotage, attacks on law enforcement bodies and properties and cutting off roads,” it said.

Taxi and truck drivers in southern Jordan have been on strike for over a week because of higher fuel prices.

The Land Transport Regulatory Commission said on Tuesday that the Bus Owners’ Association and the Transport Services and Taxi Owners’ Union had agreed to raise cash subsidies for the passenger transport sector in return for not raising fares.

Protest occurred when protesters blocked roads with burning tyres and confronted security forces in some areas.

Prices of fuel have increased by almost 100% in Jordan in the past year, making lorries and buses dependent on diesel and kerosene far more expensive to run.


Image Credit: AFP