Jordan king urges media protection after assault

Friday 22/07/2011

AMMAN (AFP) — Jordan’s King Abdullah II called on Thursday for protecting journalists after several reporters were beaten up as they covered a demonstration in Amman last week.

“The king rejects what the journalists were subjected to last Friday, stressing that it was unjustified,” the state-run Petra news agency reported after the monarch met with Jordan Press Association President Tareq Momani.

“He also rejects any practices and restrictions that would obstruct the work of media, which have an important role in accurately and independently delivering information to citizens and addressing their issues.”

At least 17 people, including journalists and policemen, were injured when police tried to stop clashes between pro-reform demonstrators and government supporters in central Amman.

Police used batons and other instruments, including a barbecue grill and a ladder, to break up the clashes outside city hall, beating and injuring at least nine journalists wearing orange vests marked “Press.”

“The king said he will instruct the government and security services to ensure the protection of journalists as they cover political, social and other activities,” Petra said.

“We want active and effective media to help carry our reform vision,” he was quoted as saying.

A police report released on Wednesday blamed the demonstrators and the media for Friday’s violence, but said “more time is needed for further investigation and determining those who beat the demonstrators and journalists.”

“Suspects must be put on trial in line with penal and public security laws,” it added.

The Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders have condemned the attacks on journalists and called for protecting the media.

Source: Ma’an News Agency.
Link: http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=407370.

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