Last updated: 28 July, 2011

“Jordan won’t allow threats against media”

Jordan’s government said Thursday it will not tolerate threats or attacks against diplomatic missions or news agencies, a day after an anti-AFP demonstration was staged outside the French embassy in Amman.

“The government will not allow threats or attacks against institutions … particularly embassies and news agencies,” Interior Minister Mazen Saket told Al-Arab Al-Yawm independent daily.

“Enforcing the law is a duty of the state. Nobody can take the law into their own hands.”

Around 100 people demonstrated on Wednesday outside the French embassy in Amman, demanding the resignation of AFP bureau chief Randa Habib in the Jordanian capital.

It was the fifth demonstration organised by MP Yehia Saud against AFP, criticising a report in June that King Abdullah II’s motorcade had been attacked — which has been vigorously denied by the palace, government officials and lawmakers.

“Threats and attacks against AFP in Amman are condemned and they are a clear violation of the law and freedom of the press,” Jordan Press Association president Tareq Momani was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

On June 15, 10 men attacked AFP’s offices, destroying windows, furniture and equipment. The assault was denounced by the government, MPs, journalists and activists.

King Abdullah met Wednesday in Paris with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

“The issue (of the attack on AFP) was raised by the delegations on the sidelines of a working lunch with the king. We are especially concerned about the safety of the AFP bureau in Amman and its staff,” said a source close to the French presidency in Paris.