Jordan arrests leaders of lecturers’ union in opposition crackdown


Jordanian safety forces arrested main members of the opposition-run lecturers union on Saturday, raided its places of work and shut it down for 2 years, escalating a confrontation with a bunch that has grow to be a number one supply of dissent.

Prosecutors charged Nasser Nawasreh, the appearing head of the Jordanian Teachers Syndicate, with incitement over a speech to supporters final Wednesday that criticised Prime Minister Omar al-Razzaz’s authorities. State media stated different costs associated to allegations of economic and administrative wrongdoing.

Riot police reinforcements have been deployed on Saturday near the seat of presidency within the capital, Amman, and different areas the place trainer activists have been planning protests. Security forces raided the union’s headquarters within the metropolis of Karak.

Translation: The challenge shouldn’t be in regards to the lecturers’ syndicate, however in regards to the authorities’s try and silence outspoken voices and crush everybody who stands earlier than it

The lecturers’ union responded by calling for an indication on Wednesday, throughout which Nawasra urged authorities to respect their guarantees.

According to the official Petra information company, Amman’s Prosecutor-General Hassan Abdallat summoned 13 members of the union’s council for questioning on “criminal and corruption charges”.

Petra didn’t elaborate on the character of the alleged “crimes” however quoted Abdallat as saying they included “financial violations”.

The prosecutor additionally issued a gag order on investigations into the case, the company stated. 

Translation: The arrest of union members is a stain on the federal government

Political opposition is commonly marginalised in Jordan, however protests have grown in recent times over eroding living requirements, corruption and the gradual tempo of political reforms.

Jordan: Teachers stage protest, demand pay hike

Security forces intervene as demonstrators demand a 50 % wage improve for lecturers in Amman [File: Anadolu]

‘Government smear marketing campaign’

Saturday’s crackdown on the union would “only further aggravate political tensions by the government at a time people are choked under hard economic conditions”, stated Murad Adailah, head of the Islamic Action Front, the biggest opposition occasion.

The 100,000-strong union went on strike final 12 months, shutting down colleges throughout Jordan for a month in one of many longest and most disruptive public sector strikes within the nation’s historical past. In latest weeks, its management has accused the federal government of failing to honour a deal signed final October that ended the strike.

The settlement included a 50 % pay rise this 12 months, which the federal government now says is unaffordable due to the financial blow from the coronavirus disaster.

Translation: I’m with the lecturers’ union…the federal government didn’t like the actual fact the union had a number of recognition and was afraid its shortcomings could be uncovered. The union represents the Jordanian society, which is why the federal government desires to silence the voice of the individuals.

Some officers have additionally accused union leaders of harbouring the opposition’s political agenda. The union stated this accusation is a part of a authorities smear marketing campaign.

Opposition politicians say the federal government has been utilizing draconian emergency legal guidelines enacted final March initially of the coronavirus lockdown to restrict civil and political rights. Activists have been arrested in latest weeks over feedback on social media.

Jordan is very depending on international support and has struggled to curb its public debt, which stands at greater than $40bn, whereas unemployment within the first quarter of 2020 hit 19.three %.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera and information businesses