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King orders gov't to take legal measures to release detainees
Amman, Dec 10 (Petra) -- His Majesty King Abdullah II on Monday directed the government to take the legal steps with the state prosecutor to release detainees held after protests against the government's decision to liberalize the prices of oil derivatives last month.

Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications and official government spokesman Samih Maytah told Petra that the government will take the necessary legal measures to fulfill the royal directive.

He reiterated that the government respects peaceful protests that adhere to the fundamental policies of the state and the lawful demands according the law and the constitution.

"The government reaffirms that freedom of expression and assembly is guaranteed by the constitution as a natural right of the human and considers these freedoms as one of the pillars of reform in general and political reform in particular," he added.

Referring to riots and acts of vandalism triggered by the oil price hike, the minister said that assaulting public and private property is a crime punishable by the law and is not in any way associated with freedom of expression, adding that the amnesty would not include persons who committed crimes against property or persons.

He said a total of 116 detainees will be set free and only 13, who had previous criminal records, will remain in jail on criminal complicity, abduction and other serious charges.

//Petra//SS 10/12/2012 - 06:53:58 PM
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