In the July 21 meeting, the prime minister was quoted as telling police
commanders that security forces must protect peaceful protesters, Middle East Newsline reported. He said
police and other security forces were deployed in 2,200 marches,
demonstrations and other protests throughout Jordan since January.
The meeting came amid rising unrest by Jordan's Islamic opposition. The
Islamist movement has demanded a reduction in the authority of King
Abdullah, including his mandate to appoint governments.
In an unprecedented move, Bakhit ordered an investigation into a police
attack on journalists at a demonstration in downtown Amman on July 15. At
least nine journalists were reported injured in the assault, which took
place outside Amman City Hall.
"No to government intimidation, oppression and terrorizing of the
press," about 300 Jordanians chanted in a march in downtown Amman on July
Interior Minister Mazen Saket was said to have received orders to stop
police brutality. Lt. Gen. Hussein Majali, head of the Public Security
Department Chief, was also briefed on the new arrangements.
"More time is needed for further investigation and to determine those
who beat the demonstrators and journalists," a police statement said regarding
the investigation into the police assault.