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Jordan Frees Political Detainees, Police Says

September 3, 1989

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) _ Jordan on Saturday released all remaining political activists arrested after April riots over price increases, the national police chief said.

Gen. Abdul Hadi Majali said 60 Communist Party members were released Saturday evening after four months of detention.

Security officials rounded up Communist Party members and other political activists after riots erupted in dozens of towns over price increases and economic difficulties.

At least nine people were killed and more than 90 were injured.

Most of the rioters at the time insisted that the unrest was not spawned by any group, although police arrested a variety of leftists, independent government critics and Islamic fundamentalists.

Communists distributed anti-government leaflets during the riots, but most of the leaflets were circulated in cities where no disturbances occurred.

Majali said the release was in line with King Hussein’s wish to ″reunite them (detainees) with their families.″

Majali said those freed were ″the only detainees″ who remained in prison following the riots.

Many detainees were released within a few days of their arrest. In May, Interior Minister Salem Masadeh announced that an additional 68 political activists had been freed.

Jordan banned political parties in 1957 following a coup attempt.

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