Jordan on Friday announced that it was imposing a “temporary ban” on the social media platform TikTok, a day after a police officer was killed during clashes with protesters that broke out over Jordan’s fuel pricing committee’s decision to raise prices.
Since then, three Jordanian police officers have been killed and five wounded in a raid aimed at the suspected killer of a senior policeman shot during protests last week.
King Abdullah II warned on Friday that “anyone who raises a weapon against the state will be dealt with firmly”.
A spate of deadly shootings followed the death of a southern police deputy director, victim of protests over low wages and fuel price hikes. Videos from the strike and protests soon emerged on TikTok and Jordan’s Public Security Directorate said Friday it was suspending the popular short-form video application “after its misuse and failing to deal with publications inciting violence and disorder.”
Maan’s police force deputy director Col Abdul Razzaq Al Dalabeh was shot in the head on Friday, the Public Security Directorate said.
Police say they will crack down on “vandals and outlaws” behind the protests, and additional security forces have been deployed in Maan province.
Taxi and truck drivers were the first to protest, and unrest spread to cities and towns across the nation, including the capital Amman.
The cost of fuel in Jordan has risen dramatically in the past year. The government says it will look into lorry drivers’ demands, but maintains that it has already paid over 500 million Jordanian dinars to cap fuel prices this year.
According to witnesses, security forces used tear gas to disperse crowds in Zarqa on Friday, while sit-ins calling for further protests were staged in mosques in Maan and Amman.
Forty-four people were arrested for taking part in “violent protests” on Saturday, the Public Security Department said.