Jordan's king orders release of jailed protesters

December 11, 2012 - 4:33 AM
Mideast Israel Palestinians

King Abdullah II of Jordan, left, gestures during a welcoming ceremony with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, prior to their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012. Jordan’s King Abdullah II has begun a brief visit to the West Bank in support of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ successful bid for U.N. recognition of a state of Palestine. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Jordan's king has ordered the release of 116 protesters jailed for their involvement in last month's violent rallies against hikes in fuel prices.

The wave of protests across the country in November had featured rare calls for deposing Abdullah II.

Three people were killed and 75 others, including 58 policemen, were injured in the violence as prices for heating and cooking gas went up by 54 percent, and some oil derivatives by up to 28 percent.

Information Minister Sameeh Maaytah said on Tuesday that 13 other detainees, charged with criminal conspiracy and vandalism, were not included in the pardon.

The kingdom's Petra news agency said Abdullah issued the pardon late Monday.

Jordan has largely been spared the mass demonstrations that have toppled four Arab leaders during the Arab Spring uprisings.