Renewed Protests in Amman Blast Corruption | Jordan News | Ammon News

Renewed Protests in Amman Blast Corruption

[5/20/2011 12:00:00 AM]

By Banan Malkawi

AMMONNEWS - Hundreds of Jordanians on Friday protested in central Amman against government corruption and called for genuine political and economic reforms.

The demonstration, organized by political opposition parties, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Jordanian Professional Associations, marched from King Abdullah I Mosque to the Interior Ministry Circle, chanting anti-corruption slogans and accusing the government of "slacking" in implementing reform measures.

Over 1,500 protestors marched amidst heavy security presence, and were blocked from reaching the Interior Ministry Circle, where major clashes had taken place on March 24th during a youth sit-in, leaving over 100 injured and one protestor dead.

Friday witnessed several major protests throughout Jordan, calling for reforms and blasting government and security forces' violent handling of pro-reform demonstrations last week.

Other protests also took place near the Israeli Embassy in Amman calling for annulling the Jordanian-Israeli peace process, and others in Karak, Tafileh, and Zarqa governorates.

Muslim Brotherhood leader Zaki Bani Ersheid blasted that the widespread economic corruption in the country is caused by political corruption, leading to the loss of trust and confidence in the government.

He stressed that tangible reform cannot materialize unless powers are given to the people.

Bani Ersheid criticized US President Barack Obama's speech delivered on Thursday, blasting that the American administration is the "power that gives international legitimacy, enables corruption, and creates corrupt governments in the region."

In referring to the "Arab Spring," the Islamist leader applauded the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, and addressed Arab leaders warning "you either implement reform, or be ousted."

On his part, Head of the Jordanian Engineers' Professional Associations Abdullah Obeidat noted that the demands of the Jordanian people are legitimate and that what "we ask for here is much less than what peoples of other countries are demanding."

He stressed that the regime and the government ought to respect the people, blasting that "we were surprised that the government did indeed implement reforms; however they were security reforms."

"An opposition activist used to be taken to a jail cell and beaten there, now, activists are being beaten by security forces publicly in the streets," he added.

Obeidat charged that the widespread corruption in the country has transformed Jordanians in both the public and private sectors into a deprived and poor society that is facing grave economic conditions.

An activist in the March 24th Youth Movement, Abdul Rahman Hassanain, said that the movement is preparing for a major demonstration that would surpass the sit-in two months ago at Gamal Abdul Nasser Square (Interior Ministry Circle).

Senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Hammam Saeed told Ammon News during the protest that the movement is part of the Jordanian society and that their protest today is part of the popular demands all Jordanians are demanding.

"We do not act individually, our activism is part and parcel of the demands of the Jordanian street," he added.

The protestors chanted slogans against corruption, and calling for freedom, reform, and change.

Chants included:

"Change and reform are the demands of the people,"

"Freedom where are you, the government stands between us and you,"

"The people demand saving the economy."

* Additional reporting by Shaheera Khatatbeh and Heba Malkawi

** More details and pictures on Ammon News Arabic

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