The Jordanian security services launched a large-scale arrest campaign, targeting a number of activists and political and media figures.
This came as thousands of lorry drivers have staged several days of sporadic strikes in protest at high fuel prices.
On Sunday, Dec. 18, 2022, the security force arrested the political activist and former mayor of Ma’an, Majid al-Sharari, while leaving the strike yard that has been going on for nearly two weeks. Sheikh Yasser Ahmed Al-Khattab was also detained.
Earlier on Sunday, the security services arrested the journalist and political activist Khaled Turki Al-Majali while leaving his house.
Lawyer Muhammad al-Majali affirmed that Khaled was interrogated on charges of incitement and defamation, charges that were strongly denied by his client, who defended his constitutional right to freedom of expression.
Khaled Al-Majali is continued to be held in Al-Hussein Security Center, and scheduled to appear before the Public Prosecutor on Monday, the lawyer added.
Dozens of Jordanian political and civil society activists were detained over the past days.
Jordan has been downgraded from ‘obstructed’ to ‘repressed’ in a 2021 report by the CIVICUS Monitor, a global research collaboration that rates and tracks fundamental freedoms in 197 countries and territories.
According to the report, the suspension of the last remaining Teachers’ Association, internet shutdowns, and restrictions enforced on journalists, civil society and activists, have led to the downgrade.
For many years, Jordan was classified by Freedom House as a partly-free country. But as of 2021, Jordan’s classification fell back, and it was classified as not-free.