News / Middle East

Thousands Protest for Reform in Jordan

Protesters from opposition parties and labor unions shout anti-government slogans in Amman, January 28, 2011
Protesters from opposition parties and labor unions shout anti-government slogans in Amman, January 28, 2011
Luis Ramirez

Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets again in Jordan. They are protesting inflation, unemployment, and corruption, and demanding sweeping electoral reforms.

The new wave of demonstrations broke out after Friday Muslim prayers in Amman and several other cities across the kingdom.  Protesters chanted slogans, including some calling for corrupt officials to be put on trial.  

Friday's protests were the latest in a series of demonstrations that began two weeks ago in the wake of steep increases in food and fuel prices.

The demonstrations have put pressure on King Abdullah, as the demonstrators call for sweeping political reforms that would result in his relinquishing the power to appoint top government officials.

The protests have not directly targeted the monarch, but rather Samir Rifai, the man the king appointed as prime minister in 2009.

The protests are led largely by left-wing groups who call attention to the disparity between the rich and poor in Jordan. Hashem Abu Hassan is part of a coalition of labor groups and was among those organizing demonstrations in Amman on Friday.  

"We are coming to help the poor people, to help our people against this corruption and the bad policies, socio-economic policies of consecutive governments in Jordan in the past 10 years, all the policies. We need real change," he said.

Abu Hassan tells VOA he wants the government to bring down high taxes that he says are squeezing the poor. "What we want is that the income tax should be raised on the rich people and also to lower the value-added tax, especially on the daily materials and daily food and drink for the people. They take about 40 percent for the gasoline, 40-percent tax. This is unbelievable. They can't tolerate this situation," he said.

Jordan's Islamists have also joined the demonstrations, calling for a democratic reforms that will lead to what they describe as a gradual transformation of the country.

At some of the demonstrations on Friday, some protesters shouted slogans saying the Quran is their constitution and calling for a holy war.

The protests in Amman on Friday were peaceful and witnesses said security forces did not intervene.

The government has rolled out new subsidies to bring down the prices of basic goods and announced increases in retirement pensions and pay for public servants.

Many of the protesters said they are watching events in Egypt closely and have been inspired by the recent popular uprising in Tunisia. They say they will keep up the demonstrations in the coming days, including a sit-in outside the prime minister's office on Saturday.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid