Archive for October 7th, 2011

15 Jordanians released from Syrian jails

By Omar Obeidat and Raed Omari

AMMAN – Syrian authorities on Sunday freed 15 Jordanian prisoners under the general amnesty issued last week by President Bashar Assad, a human rights activist said on Sunday.

Abdul Karim Shraideh, head of the Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR), told The Jordan Times yesterday that out of the 250 Jordanians serving prison terms in Syria, 15 were set free.

Shraideh said Abdul Rahman Bashabsheh from Ramtha District was the first prisoner to cross the Jordanian border after serving a four-year prison term in Syria on suspicion of working for the Israeli Mossad.

But Atef Bashabsheh said that his relative Abdul Rahman has spent over 10 years in jail and that he was taken into custody by Syrian police over charges related to damaging the country’s national economy.

“He was 18 years old when he disappeared in Syria where he went to import products from there,” he told The Jordan Times over the phone.

He said that he received a phone call from Abdul Rahman yesterday informing him about the news.

The AOHR’s lawyer added that the other 14 prisoners also arrived in the Kingdom during the afternoon.

“Names of the freed prisoners is still not available to the AOHR and we are still following up on the issue,” he said.

Pointing out that tens of Jordanian prisoners have been behind bars for over 20 years and that some of them never stood for trial, he added that three women are still behind bars: Wafaa Obeidat, Yusra Hayek and Shikha Hayek.

He said that the amnesty decision by Assad should include all Jordanian prisoners there, stressing that the organization will continue its efforts to ensure their freedom.

6 June 2011

Source: The Jordan Times.

Egypt resumes gas supplies to Jordan, minister says

Sun, 12 June 2011

AMMAN — Egypt has resumed its gas exports to Jordan after a 45-day stoppage due to an attack on a pipeline near the Sinai town of Al Arish, said Energy Minister Khalid Touqan. Since the April 27 blast, Jordan has been forced to incur extra costs associated with using heavy fuel to run its electricity generating plants.

Under an agreement signed in 2001, Jordan receives gas supplies from Egypt through the so-called Arab gas pipeline, which travels northward to supply Syria and Lebanon and, later, Turkey. Over the past few weeks, Jordan and Egypt have conducted negotiations that could lead to a revision of prices for gas supplied to Amman by Cairo.

Egypt’s military rulers have decided that gas prices should be in line with oil prices. — DPA

Source: Oman Observer.

Jordan’s king issues amnesty for thousands

Jun 8, 2011

Amman – Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Wednesday issued a general amnesty to mark the 12th anniversary of his accession expected to lead to the pardoning of thousands of wrongdoers.

The amnesty excludes crimes pertaining to espionage, state security, narcotics, rape, premeditated murder, financing of terrorism, money laundering and the forgery of banknotes.

The move coincided with a pledge by King Abdullah to carry out ‘real and speedy’ political reforms in the wake of four months of protests inspired by the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

A National Dialogue Committee set up by the monarch in March issued proposals earlier this week for new laws governing the election of the lower house of parliament and the formation of political parties in the country.

King Abdullah has also set up a panel to revise the country’s constitution, which is expected to put forward its recommendations in a few weeks.

Source: Monsters and Critics.

Jordan blasts Israel’s killing of Arab protesters on Golan Heights

Jun 6, 2011

AMMAN: The Jordanian government on Monday condemned the killing of scores of peaceful Arab protesters by Israeli troops on the occupied Syrian Golan Heights on Sunday.

“Israel is applying double standards by preaching values of democracy and freedom and at the same time gives orders to its forces to kill armless people who were protesting the continued occupation of their land in violation of international law and UN resolutions,” Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said in a statement.

At least 23 people were reportedly killed and scored wounded when Arab protesters approached the Israeli lines on the Golan Heights Sunday to mark the 44th anniversary of occupation of the Syrian territory.

Judeh pointed out that the growing Arab protests against Israeli occupation of Arab lands “reflected pessimism and frustration on the part of Arab peoples over Israel’s obstinacy and failure to respond to serious world efforts” aimed at ending the Arab-Israeli conflict.

He said: “maintaining stability and real security in the Middle East lay in Israel’s evacuation of all Arab lands it occupied in the 1967 war and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

Source: Arab News.