AlJazeera reports that clashes have erupted in two Jordanian jails. It is reported that there is one death and 9 injuries.
Apparently the man who was part of the assassination of U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley in 2001 was being transported or taken somewhere and other prisoners refused to let that happen.
AlJazeera claims Salem Bin Suweid, a prisoner in one of the jails called them up to report it early in the morning, claiming that the security attacking them was in the hundreds, using smoke bombs. Water hoses were also used, injuring several prisoners to the head and face.
The Jordanian government has so far denied these events have taken place. [source] (Arabic)
I’ll try and update this information as it comes. It will probably be subject to change as details emerge.
UPDATE 1: Rueters has reported the following:
“There have been several wounded when troops tried to storm into Jweida’s large cell where Islamists are held, to transfer detainees, and the inmates resisted by force,” said one security source who declined to elaborate.
Rioting then broke out in two other prisons, Swaqa and Qafqafa, where more than 150 political detainees are held, and there were unconfirmed reports from prison sources of one dead inmate during those clashes.
…Among the prisoners in Jweida are Azmi Jayousi, a Jordanian aide of the al-Qaeda leader in
Iraq Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was sentenced to death this month over his lead role in plotting chemical attacks in 2004.
Swaqa prison is where Libyan Salem bin Suweid is serving a death term passed in 2004 for murdering U.S. diplomat Laurence Foley in Amman in October 2002. [source]
This is definitely going to bring up controversial issues such as abuse in jails as well as political prisoners.
Jordanian inmates loyal to al Qaeda on Wednesday took a prison chief and several police officers hostage during clashes with security forces at three Amman prisons, officials said.
They said the inmates were holding up to eight police officers and had issued demands including the release of a woman accused of trying to blow herself up in simultaneous attacks on three hotels in Amman last year that killed more than 50 people. [source]
Interior Minister Eid Al Fayez said that resorting to force to end riot of a number of prisoners at the Juweidah Correctional Center will be the last solution.
However, the minister said in a statement to Jordan News Agency that negotiations with the prisoners are still going on to free eight police officers who were inside the prison when the riot took place.
“The prisoners are still holding five police officers as hostages and we are negotiating with them to end the riot,” Al Fayez added. The minister said that the prisoners had demanded that a number of inmates be transferred to their prison and retry some of them before civil courts. [source]
Rioting prisoners in Jordan have released all seven of their police hostages, including the head of the prison service, officials said.
Maj Gen Awwad al-Khalidi, the assistant director-general of the Public Security Directorate said the crisis was “over”.
…The inmates, who are all suspects in state security cases or prisoners under sentence of death, demanded they all be housed in the same facility.
The Jordanian Public Security Directorate said their request was against regulations and that inmates are normally distributed throughout Jordan’s prisons according to set procedures and criteria.
The prisoners, upon being told this, managed to close the prison’s main gates and lock police officers and negotiators in with them.
Islamist inmates at two other prisons, Suwaiqa and Qafqafa, also rioted in response to the developments at Juwaida, but Jordanian officials said they were “minor disturbances” that were quickly brought under control. [source]