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King directs gov’t to issue general pardon law ‘in solidarity with citizens’

Razzaz says government to ‘immediately’ begin necessary steps for endorsement

By JT - Dec 14,2018 - Last updated at Dec 14,2018

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Thursday directed the government to issue a general pardon law and proceed with necessary constitutional steps for its enactment, to alleviate the pressures on citizens.

His Majesty highlighted the significance of taking the rule of law into consideration in the general pardon bill, ensuring that it does not compromise national and social security and citizens’ rights, according to a Royal Court statement.

King Abdullah called for giving wrongdoers an opportunity to find the right path and correct their conduct, especially as other people have suffered financially from their misconduct.

The move comes in solidarity with citizens who are going through difficult conditions, according to the statement.

Later in the day, Prime Minister Omar Razzaz said that the government would “immediately” begin taking the constitutional steps to issue the law and send it to Parliament for endorsement, in accordance with concepts highlighted by His Majesty, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh also responded to the King’s directions, stressing that the House will give the general pardon an urgency status and take necessary steps to endorse it as soon as it is received from the Cabinet, according to Petra.

The King stressed that the law must contribute to lifting burdens off the shoulders of citizens and easing the social and economic hardships they face, in order to preserve their dignity and help them overcome challenging phases of their lives.

While it is vital for the law to instil the concept of forgiveness, His Majesty reiterated, the personal and civil rights of victims should be safeguarded in accordance with the rule of law and justice principles.

King Abdullah also expressed hope that the general pardon would play a role in entrenching patriotism and enhancing social security, as it would give inmates of reform and rehabilitation centres an opportunity to resume their lives and return to their families.

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