King Abdullah II of Jordan accepted the resignation of Interior Minister Hussein al-Majali and the government dismissed top police chiefs over reported right abuses in prisons and heavy-handed police crackdown in the south of the country, the state television reported on Sunday.
Two officials contacted by Reuters said the monarch accepted the resignation of Interior Minister Hussein al-Majali and a decision was taken to retire the heads of the country's police and gendarme.
One official said the reasons for their dismissals were the heavy-handed police crackdown in the poor, southern tribal city of Maan and the torture of a detainee during interrogation that led to his death.
Celebratory shots were fired in Maan after the news of the dismissal of Majali, whose forces' tough handling of several suspects wanted on criminal offences had led to widespread local anger in recent days.
Majali was criticized for threatening to disrupt a peaceful rally planned by Jordan's largest political party, the opposition Muslim Brotherhood, on the pretext that it was not licensed. The party eventually decided not to hold the event to avoid a confrontation.
Rights groups had criticized the imprisonment and trials of scores of activists in recent years without proper legal safeguards, saying the crackdown was a sign of the kingdom's increasing intolerance of political dissent.
Jordan, which is reeling under the impact of more than 600,000 Syrian refugees, also has been slammed by rights groups for deporting scores of refugees and for sealing the border to prevent the entry of hundreds of women and children in need of urgent relief.
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