Government forms panel to inquire into attacks on journalists by police and promises action within next 72 hours.
|At least 17 people, including journalists and policemen, were injured on Friday [Reuters]|
Four policemen suspected of attacking journalists at a demonstration in the Jordanian capital last week have been arrested, as protesters demanded that Maaruf Bakhit, the prime minister, face trial over the incident.
“So far, four police officers suspected of being linked to the attacks on journalists have been arrested,” said a statement from the criminal investigation department received by the AFP news agency.
At least 17 people, including journalists and policemen, were injured on Friday when police tried to stop clashes between pro-reform demonstrators and government supporters in central Amman.
Police used batons to break up the clashes outside city hall, beating and injuring nine journalists who were wearing orange vests marked “Press.”
The statement said CID chief “General Hussein Majali has formed a committee of inquiry into the attacks on the journalists who were simply doing their jobs”.
Majali’s department said on Saturday that it would “announce the results of the investigation within the next 72 hours and refer to the courts those who have a case to answer”.
About 400 people demonstrated outside Bakhit’s office on Saturday, condemning Friday’s violence and demanding the resignation of the government and the trial of the premier.
“Freedom, freedom! No to martial laws. We say to the intelligence services that Jordanians are still alive,” they chanted amid a heavy security presence.
The protesters carried banners reading: “The people want the downfall of the government. We want to put Bakhit and the attackers of demonstrators on trial.”
Since January, Jordan has faced a protest movement demanding political and economic reforms and an end to corruption.