Friday, July 22, 2011

Jordanians hold anti-US protest

Jordanian protesters carry a national flag during an anti-government demonstration in Amman, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit on June 3, 2011

Source: Press TV

Jordanian protesters have held an anti-US rally in the capital, criticizing Washington's interference in the country's reform movement.

Burning a US flag and chanting anti-US slogans, protesters on Friday accused the US of meddling in their government's policies and trying to direct and influence the protest movement in Jordan.

The anti-US protest rally was held in response to efforts by American diplomats to meet and advise anti-government activists and remarks made by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in praise of reform efforts by Jordan.

"We don't need Washington's help and we don't take orders from you," the Associated Press quoted activist Mohannad Safiin as saying.

"These are our protests. Keep out of our business. For years, the US government supported these same Arab regimes which have killed our own people," he added.

Demonstrators also called for the resignation of Prime Minister Marouf al-Bakhit, whom the protesters hold responsible for the delay in adopting the promised economic and political reforms as well as failure to fight corruption.

They also called for freedom of press and condemned the government's "oppression" and "terrorizing" of the media a week after several journalists were beaten up by police as they tried to cover an anti-government sit-in in Amman.

Similar protest rallies were also held in several other cities.

Jordan's king has criticized the violence against journalists, saying that the government and police must allow journalists to cover political events and guarantee their safety. The government has promised to punish police officials involved in the attack.

Jordan has faced anti-government rallies demanding reforms and an end to corruption since January.

Last month, in a bid to appease protesters, King Abdullah II announced some concessions, including the formation of future governments that were based on an elected parliamentary majority rather than one appointed by the monarch.

He later said it may take two to three years to put an elected government in place.

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