Jordan demonstrators demand 'bread, freedom'

AFP, Friday 20 Apr 2012

Jordanian youth movements and other groups demonstrate in several cities to call for economic and social reforms

Anti-government protesters shout slogans against the government after Friday prayers during a demonstration in Amman, Jordan, April 13, 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Jordanians held pro-reform demonstrations in several cities on Friday, demanding "bread and freedom" and condemning corruption that hinders political and economic change.

In the southern city of Tafileh, opposition Islamists, including their top leaders, youth movements and other groups urged general reforms as they commemorated widespread protests in April 1989 against price hikes, which led to the start of democratic reforms.

"Reform is not optional. No democracy without elected government," read a banner carried by the protesters.

"We will not tolerate injustice. We will keep struggling to solidify our freedoms," they chanted, criticising the "siege mentality and tight security grip" in the country.

Several armed masked men tried in vain to intimidate the protesters by firing shots into the air.

In central Amman, nearly 200 youths demonstrated outside Al-Husseini mosque.

"We demand bread, freedom and dignity," they chanted, hailing the 1989 "uprising."

"The people want genuine reforms, not more corruption," read one of their banners.

Similar protests were held in the cities of Karak, Salt and Jerash as well as other parts.

Jordanians have held Arab Spring-inspired demonstrations since January last year, calling for sweeping reforms in the kingdom.

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