19 men on riot charges in Jordan after protest over three men killed

Police round up 60 suspects after 1,000 people hold protest, with those charged facing up to one year in prison.

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AMMAN // A state security court charged 19 men for inciting riots in southern Jordan this week.

The Amman daily Addustour reported yesterday the men were charged with "unlawful assembly" and "stirring unrest" following riots in Maan on Tuesday after the funeral of three people who were killed the day earlier in the wake of a labour dispute.

The men are being held at Juweideh prison in the capital. Those charged face up to one year in prison.

Col Aref Wishah, the police chief in Maan, said nearly 60 suspects have been rounded up since the manhunt began on Tuesday.

"Nineteen have been referred to the state security court while the rest are detained and are being interrogated at the Maan police station. The arrests will continue until we capture all suspects."

He added there were four minors among the 19 detained at the state security court.

On Monday, two people from Maan were believed to be killed by a rival tribe, the Hweitats, for working on a major water project in their home town, Shidyieh. A driver was also found dead at the scene, a police official said.

After the funeral for the three people, approximately 1,000 masked demonstrators set fire to municipal and two court buildings during Tuesday's riots, as well as burning police vehicles, cars, shops and a petrol station.