AMMONNEWS - Media reports on Monday claimed that the security apparatus will be absent during the Islamist-organized mega pro-reform protest in downtown Amman on Friday, which is also expected to witness another simultaneous mass counter-protest.
Al Rai daily newspaper reported from 'informed sources' on Monday that police and security forces will not be present as usual to accompany the protest this Friday for the first time in nearly two years.
The sources claimed that the decision was taken to prevent the security apparatus from being judged to "stand with one side at the expense of the other," the report said.
Meanwhile, the press office of the Public Security Department (PSD) refused to comment on the report that gendarmerie and security forces will not partake in accompanying the two demonstrations.
The Islamist-organized 'Save the Nation' rally on Friday is expected to mobilize over 50,000 participants. Meanwhile, the counter self-proclaimed 'loyalist' demonstration promised to mobilize double that number. Both will hold their rallies in downtown Amman midday on Friday.
Despite rising fears that clashes may erupt between the two counter protests, PSD spokesperson Lt. Col. Mohammad Khatib refused to respond to Ammon News inquiry regarding the report, and did not confirm or deny it.
PSD had issued a statement Sunday morning denying claims made by Islamist leader Zaki Bani Ersheid against the security apparatus, accusing it of "facilitating the 'baltajiyyah" who occasionally clash with pro-reform activists.
The PSD statement considered Bani Ersheid's comments an accusation against all ranks of the security apparatus.
* Ammon News Archive Photo of pro-reform protest in downtown Amman earlier this year.