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Prime minister issues Defence Order No. 3, tightening curfew regulations

‘Whoever thinks that we have lifted the curfew is wrong’

By JT - Mar 26,2020 - Last updated at Mar 26,2020

Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Omar Razzaz speaks during a press briefing at the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management on Thursday (Petra photo))

AMMAN — Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Omar Razzaz has issued Defence Order No. 3 of 2020, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The following is the text of Defence Order No.3, issued in accordance with the provisions of Defence Law No. 13 of 1992:

“In accordance with the provisions of Articles (3) and (7) of Defence Law No. 13 of 1992, and thereafter with Defence Order No. 2 dated March 20, 2020, I decide to issue the following defence order:

First: Anyone who violates Defence Order No. 2 for the year 2020, which prohibits the movement of people in all regions of the Kingdom and the circulars issued in accordance with it shall be punished with the following penalties:

1. A fine of no less than JD100 and no more than JD500 will be levied if the violation occurs for the first time. Prosecution will not take place if the violator pays the minimum amount of the fine within a week from the date of the violation.

2. Imprisonment for a period that does not exceed one year or a fine of no less than JD100 and no more than JD500, or both penalties in the event of repetition.

3. Any vehicle used during the curfew will be seized for a period of 30 days.

Second: Those who open shops with permits outside of the approved hours shall be punished with a fine of no less than JD1,000 and the closing of the shop for a period of 14 days.

Third: Those who open shops without a permit shall be punished with detention for a period that does not exceed three months or a fine of JD3,000, or both penalties.

The prime minister affirmed during a press briefing at the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management on Thursday that the commitment of Jordanians witnessed on Wednesday to waiting in queues and maintaining social distance is “a source of pride”, Petra reported.

Razzaz said that Jordanian citizens continue to prove that they are conscious, committed and fully responsible members of society.

The work of the government, the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army and security services under the directives and follow-up of His Majesty King Abdullah, aims to empower citizens and provide them with information and means of protection in order to practise commitment of their own accord, he said.

“This commitment is what we see around us,” he said, stressing that “a high sense of responsibility and control, which does not require external supervision, is a prerequisite for overcoming this ordeal”.

The prime minister added: "To be clear, what we announced on Tuesday about permitting the opening of small shops and other necessary facilities is still valid, and we will continue with it as long as the owners of the shops are committed, along with citizens."

“Whoever thinks that we have lifted the curfew and that we are allowing people and cars to move whenever they want and wherever they want, is wrong; and we call on them to comply fully with the defence orders and instructions,” he said.

"In our society, as in any society in the world, there are a few who lack a sense of responsibility and insist on violating the law. These people harm not only themselves but their families and the people of the Kingdom as a whole, and we will not allow them to do so," the defence minister asserted.

Razzaz confirmed that there will be “no tolerance “for reckless violations; therefore, he announced the issuance of Defence Order No. 3 of 2020.

The premier stressed that penalties will be increased in case of repeat violations, adding that the government will take strict new measures in line with the evolving circumstances and developments, and according to the best methods to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

Also on Thursday, Minister of State for Media Affairs Amjad Adaileh spoke during a joint press briefing with Minister of Interior Salameh Hammad and Public Security Department (PSD) Director Maj. Gen. Hussein Hawatmeh at the National Centre for security and Crisis Management, in the presence of the prime minister.

During the briefing, Adaileh stressed that the results of opinion polls show that many Jordanians are still unaware of the threat that the coronavirus pandemic poses to the Kingdom, Petra reported.

The minister also said that 33 per cent of Jordanians “do not take the disease seriously and do not realise the strict penalties that the government will impose for violating the curfew regulations”.

Countries that did not anticipate the threat of this pandemic have lost thousands of their citizens and their health systems have collapsed under the impact of the virus, he stressed.

Adaileh added that, according to polls, 44 per cent of individuals do not take the curfew seriously, highlighting the gravity of these “shocking” figures and urging the public to be aware of the health challenge Jordan is experiencing.

There have been no changes in the curfew hours after shops were opened to allow citizens to secure their basic food supplies, he said, stressing that these shops will be open all week, including Fridays and Saturdays, between 10am and 6pm. 

In this regard, he assured the public that the Kingdom’s strategic reserves of food and basic commodities are secure and sufficient to meet market demand for long periods.

For his part, Hawatmeh urged citizens and residents to abide by the regulations issued under all defence orders, Petra reported.

Hawatmeh pointed to the “discipline shown by a large number of citizens”, noting, however, that some have violated regulations and “jeopardised the lives of Jordanians”, and stressing that there will be “no tolerance” in enforcing all laws regulating public movement.

The director also noted that these procedures require “great efforts” on the part of the PSD and the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army, with 60,000 to 70,000 security personnel stationed on streets nationwide. These efforts call for citizens’ appreciation of and respect for laws and regulations.

For his part, Hammad said that after the prime minister issued Defence Order No. 3, which outlined a number of new procedures and penalties, the PSD will work to implement its provisions in the Kingdom, Petra reported.

"We have noticed exploitation of the facilitations provided by the government for citizens to obtain their needs by many people who have violated the law,” he noted, adding that “the necessary legal measures have been taken against them in all governorates”.

The minister stressed that the penalties for violators “will be a deterrent according to the laws in force”, noting that there will be “no excuses” for violators in light of the “clarity” of the governmental measures taken to protect citizens from the coronavirus outbreak.

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