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Jordan charges Syrians over riot in which police hurt

8 Syrian refugees charged after protests at a refugee camp over living conditions

AFP , Tuesday 30 Apr 2013
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Eight Syrian refugees were charged on Tuesday with "unlawful assembly" after rioting last week at the Zaatari refugee camp injured 10 policemen, a judicial official said. A court in the northeastern city of Mafraq "charged the eight Syrian men today with unlawful assembly for taking part in rioting in Zaatari last Friday," he told AFP.

"It remanded them to 15 days of judicial custody and decided to refer their case to the (military) state security court, which has the jurisdiction to try them." If convicted, the suspects face up to three years in prison.

Violence broke out on Friday night as 100 refugees held a protest against living conditions in Zaatari. As temporary home to more than 160,000 Syrians, it is equivalent to the kingdom's fifth largest city, according to the United Nations.

Two of the policemen wounded are in serious condition. Since Zaatari opened in July in northern Jordan, refugees have protested several times against poor living conditions. Jordan says it is hosting more than 500,000 Syrian refugees and the United Nations High Commissioner expects the number to soar to 1.2 million by the end of 2013 -- equivalent to one-fifth of the kingdom's population.

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