Jordan’s Interior Minister Resigns

Jordan’s Interior Minister ResignsJordan’s Interior Minister Resigns

Jordan’s King Abdullah accepted the resignation of his interior minister as the government dismissed top police chiefs over reported rights abuses in prisons and the mishandling of a crackdown in the south of the country, officials said on Sunday.

Two officials said Abdullah accepted the resignation of Interior Minister Hussein al-Majali and a decision was taken to retire the heads of the country’s police and gendarme, Reuters wrote.

One official said the reasons for their dismissals were the heavy-handed police crackdown in the poor, southern tribal city of Maan and the torture of a detainee during interrogation that led to his death.

Celebratory shots were fired in Maan after the news of the dismissal of Majali, whose forces’ tough handling of several suspects wanted on criminal offences had led to widespread local anger in recent days.

There have been violent protests in Maan in recent years, often reflecting Bedouin resentment against the government as well as tribal rivalries.

The death in custody earlier this month of a member of a prominent tribe in northern Jordan - he allegedly was beaten to death after being arrested on drug charges - triggered allegations of police brutality and led to threats of reprisals against authorities.

But human rights activists said the dismissals of several police officers implicated in the death of the 21-year-old suspect were not enough to assuage public opinion over the latest case of alleged police abuse.

Majali was also criticized for threatening to disrupt a peaceful rally planned by Jordan’s largest political party, the Muslim Brotherhood, on the pretext that it was not licensed.