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Hundreds rally in Amman for release of Labadi, Meri

By Rana Husseini - Nov 04,2019 - Last updated at Nov 04,2019

Activists stage a sit-in in front of the Prime Ministry on Sunday evening (Photo by Rana Husseini)

AMMAN — Around 400 Jordanian activists on Sunday evening staged a sit-in in front of the Prime Ministry to demand the release of two Jordanians held under Israeli administrative detention for over a month.

The protesters, coming from all parts of the Kingdom, carried banners calling on the government to exert its “utmost” efforts to secure the release of Hiba Labadi and Abdulrahman Meri, and all other Jordanians detained in Israeli prisons.

The sit-in was called for by the popular movement for the release of the two detainees. 

"We are here to protest the release of Labadi and Meri and call on the government to forcefully push for the release of all the detainees," said Lawyer and activist Noor Imam.

Their detention, Imam told The Jordan Times, “contradicts all forms of human rights and international conventions and Labadi’s detention in Israeli prisons is illegal”.

“Labadi and Meri are on administrative detention in Israel without any clear charges, and under this form of detention they could stay up to six months in prison without being charged, and the period could be renewed for an additional six months," the popular movement members told The Jordan Times in a recent interview.

Suhail Abualsameed said: “It is about time for the government to take a real step and obviously this is not the first or last time the Israeli government will detain Jordanian citizens in this manner.”

“It is time the government hears our loud voices and do something about it,” Abualsameed added.

Photographer Linda Khoury said Labadi should be released now “because there is no real reason for her to be detained”.

“I am here to make my voice heard and say Labadi and all the Jordanian prisoners need to be released from Israeli detention," Khoury told The Jordan Times. 

Meanwhile, the Foreign Ministry said over the weekend that Jordanian detainee Labadi was transferred to a health centre under prison administration for treatment, in response to the ministry’s demands. 

“Jordan holds Israel fully accountable for the lives of the two citizens until their safe return home,” the ministry said, adding that it will continue taking “all measures available” to ensure Labadi’s and Meri’s safety and quick release. 

The Jordanian ambassador to Tel Aviv arrived home on Wednesday in protest and to discuss Israel's prolonged detention of Labadi and Meri, who suffers from cancer. 

In a statement on Wednesday, the ministry said that the charge d'affaires at the Jordanian embassy in Israel paid a visit to Labadi to check on her well-being, adding that this was the fifth visit since her arrest.

The ministry has made continual efforts and intensive calls via diplomatic and political channels to urge Israel to release the detained Jordanians.

Last month, the ministry summoned the Israeli Chargé d’Affaires in the Kingdom to protest against the continued detention of Labadi and Meri, and handed him a letter demanding their immediate release. 

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