Jordanian police seal off central Amman to foil union protest

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - Jordanian security forces dispersed dozens of teachers trying to reach the seat of government on Wednesday to protest at the arrest of their union leaders and the closure of its offices across the country. The government raided the union's offices on Saturday and shut it down for two years, escalating a confrontation with a group that has become a leading source of dissent

Reuters July 30, 2020 00:11:48 IST
Jordanian police seal off central Amman to foil union protest

Jordanian police seal off central Amman to foil union protest

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi

AMMAN (Reuters) - Jordanian security forces dispersed dozens of teachers trying to reach the seat of government on Wednesday to protest at the arrest of their union leaders and the closure of its offices across the country.

The government raided the union's offices on Saturday and shut it down for two years, escalating a confrontation with a group that has become a leading source of dissent.

The 100,000-strong union went on strike last year, shutting down schools across Jordan for a month in one of the longest and most disruptive public sector strikes in the country's history.

The security forces mounted a huge operation to deter the protesters, with thousands of officers stationed across central Amman in one of the biggest such deployments in years, witnesses said.

Nonetheless, dozens of teachers chanted slogans calling for the resignation of the government before they were repelled from the cordoned off area in a square that has long been a focus for demonstrations.

Political opposition is often marginalised in Jordan, but protests have grown in recent years over the erosion of living standards, corruption and slow pace of political reforms.

The prosecutor general has charged the deputy leader of the union, Nasser Nawsreh, with incitement along with charges related to allegations of financial and administrative wrongdoing for other union activists. Judicial authorities have also put a gag order on local media coverage.

Some officials have also accused union leaders of harbouring the Islamist opposition’s political agenda. The union says this accusation is part of a government smear campaign.

The union has also accused the government of failing to honour a deal signed last October that ended the strike.

The deal included a 50% pay rise this year, which the government now says is unaffordable because of the economic blow from the coronavirus crisis.

Opposition politicians say the government has been using emergency laws enacted in March at the start of the coronavirus lockdown to limit civil and political rights.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Alison Williams)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.