More than Jordanian 300 youths demonstrated in Amman Friday to condemn government “oppression” and “terrorising” of the media, a week after several journalists were beaten up as they covered a pro-reform sit-in.
“No to government intimidation, oppression and terrorising of the press,” the youths chanted as they marched from Al-Husseini mosque in central Amman to the nearby city hall.
“Political reform does not start with media oppression,” read one banner.
The demonstrators, who called for “security services to stop interfering in our affairs,” set a US flag ablaze, saying “we reject the American dictates of reform.”
On Thursday, King Abdullah II urged protection of journalists, after several reporters were injured when police tried to stop clashes between pro-reform demonstrators and government supporters in Amman last Friday.
Police used batons and other instruments, including a barbecue grill and a ladder, to break up the clashes outside city hall, beating and injuring at least nine journalists wearing orange vests marked “Press.”
A police report released on Wednesday blamed the demonstrators and the media for Friday’s violence, but said “more time is needed for further investigation and determining those who beat the demonstrators and journalists,” vowing to put suspects on trial.