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Jordanians hail Royal directives, gov't efforts for detainees' release

By Rana Husseini - Nov 07,2019 - Last updated at Nov 07,2019

AMMAN — Jordanians on Wednesday expressed their pride in His Majesty King Abdullah's Royal directives and the government's efforts for their role in securing the release and return of Jordanian detainees Hiba Labadi and Abdulrahman Meri from Israeli administrative detention.

Labadi and Meri entered the Kingdom from the King Hussein Border Crossing at around noon and were received by their families, the press and dozens of supporters.

The Foreign Ministry had called for the release of Labadi and Meri, who were put under administrative detention by Israeli forces, which is a breach of international law.

MP Khalil Atiyeh thanked His Majesty King Abdullah, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry, Arab and Jordanian MPs and the security agencies that “worked tirelessly to secure their release”.

“We congratulate ourselves for this great achievement, which showed that Jordanians and Palestinians will win in the end,” Atiyeh tweeted.

President of Tamkeen for Legal Aid and Human Rights Linda Kalash said that this was “an excellent step” by the government, which “worked tirelessly” to secure the release of its citizens.

“What the Israelis did was unacceptable and against all human rights and international conventions, and resulted in Labadi staging a hunger strike that ended with her release,” Kalash told The Jordan Times.

Following King Abdullah’s directives to take all necessary measures to release the two detainees, the Foreign Ministry had made continued efforts and intensive calls via diplomatic and political channels to urge Israel to release the detained Jordanians, whose health conditions have deteriorated since the beginning of their administrative detention.

In response to the ministry's demands, Israel had pledged on Monday to hand over Labadi and Meri before the end of the week.

Labadi had been on hunger strike for a month and her health has suffered as a result. She was transferred on Friday to a health centre under prison administration for treatment, in response to the ministry’s demands. Meri suffers from cancer. 

Jordanian activists organised a social media campaign and on Sunday held a sit-in in front of the Prime Ministry and were joined by hundreds of Jordanians, who urged the government to pressure Israel to release Labadi, Meri and all other detainees. 

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.

Israel had detained Labadi and Meri at the King Hussein Border Crossing in the Jordan Valley on August 20 and September 2, respectively.

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