'Jordan experiences massive Arab Spring weekly protests'
5 Apr 2012 - 11:57
Islam Times - The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has accused Jordan of crushing pro-reform rallies in the country, saying Jordanian security forces violently breakup peaceful protests and beat and arrest demonstrators.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International called for the “immediate and unconditional” release of the six political activists that were charged with “insulting” the Jordanian king.
Jordanians have, since January 2011, been holding street protests demanding political reforms, including the election of the prime minister by popular vote and an end to corruption.
An interview with Ali al-Ahmed, director of the IGA, to share his opinion on this issue.
Mr. Ahmed, how do you see the situation in Jordan developing?
Al-Ahmed: The situation in Jordan is really extremely under reported because every Friday there is protests in many Jordanian cities and towns calling for the end of corruption and calling even for the regime change and condemning the absolute ruler of Jordan, the king of Jordan and asking him to leave.
So there have been dozens arrested, many beaten and cornered. So you are seeing yet another example of how Western media failed to report what is happening in Jordan which it is probably as massive as other Arab Spring countries.
Jordan has not been reported on and the fact that it is experiencing the Arab Spring every Friday.
How strong is the King’s position? How likely will the King be ousted? I mean we saw in several other Arab countries the dictators being ousted. How is the case with Jordan, do you think?
Al-Ahmed: Jordan is the ultimate police state and this is not new. This goes back to the previous king. So this is where every breath is counted and if you touch the king you would have committed the greatest crime.
But now this has changed and I think the likelihood this king will be toppled is very high, giving the fact that the people in Jordan are protesting and specially those Jordanians, these tribal Jordanians in Tafileh and other cities where they have called for him to leave.
I think we are just a few months away from reaching that flash point between the regime and the people because ultimately it is the monarchy and the king himself who is the king of corruption in Jordan and responsible for all the ills of Jordanian society and the massive corruption and high unemployment and the deprivation that the Jordanian people are witnessing today.
So suppose that flash point will be reached and the king is ousted. What kind of a political structure will be defined in Jordan?
Al-Ahmed: Jordan because of its important location I think the West has desperate interest in interfering. I think you are seeing a strong turn in Jordan, people who represent the Jordanian tribes and feel that they are marginalized and also you have the Palestinian origin Jordanians who feel that they need to have their message and their agenda put forth.
So you are going to find some trouble between these Islamists and non-Islamist forces. However I think the Jordanian people are going to be able to come through and unite to bring much more populist government than this current absolute monarchy that is now, the Jordanian regime.