Dozens of Jordanians were arrested Wednesday after attempting to approach a central Amman public square, the site of mass 2011 Arab Spring protests, as authorities in the poverty-stricken state have looked to extinguish any potential ten-year anniversary gatherings. Police surrounded the central roundabout, and other major sites in several cities across the country, rounding up protest leaders and citizens defying government curfews and bans. Demonstrators and activists have called for an end to the sweeping pandemic-related restrictions, claiming the emergency decrees violate civic rights. Amman’s Dakhiliya roundabout, the center of attention on Wednesday, in 2011 drew thousands of protesters who unsuccessfully demanded regime change in rallies that eventually turned violent. The harsh health crisis fueled by the pandemic, paired with growing economic hardship, has reignited civil unrest in the Hashemite Kingdom. Earlier this month, Jordanian security forces fired tear gas into a crowd of hundreds that took to the streets after a hospital malfunction claimed the lives of several patients.
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