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Four activists detained for criticising the king

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 11 March 2012 - ANHRI condemns the continued detention of four activists of the Committee of al-Tafila's Free Action by the security services following their participation in a sit-in on 6 March 2012 in al-Tafila district demanding job opportunities for the unemployed residents of the district.

The State Security Court indicted Saed al-Awran, Yasser al-Sabalyeh, Fady al-Ubaideen, and Majdy al-Kabayleen on charges of disrespecting the Jordanian King, a charge that carries a possibility of three years' imprisonment.

Al-Tafila district, located in the Jordanian capital of Amman, has witnessed several ongoing demonstrations and sit-ins since last January where protesters have demanded job opportunities for the unemployed and denounced corruption. Subsequently, approximately 25 of the district's residents have been detained, including the four activists mentioned above.

“Detaining citizens and activists who demand basic rights, rather than meeting their demands, will only further exacerbate the situation. The Jordanian government should have at least respected freedom of expression and the right to criticize, instead it responded with repression rather than jobs,” said ANHRI.

“This action by the Jordanian authorities is a repressive measure against freedom of expression and is totally unacceptable and must be reversed. The Jordanian authorities have to immediately release the detainees and guarantee freedom of expression and assembly to all citizens,” added ANHRI

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