Jordan king says virus 'under control'

Jordanian King Abdullah II gestures as he delivers a speech at the European Parliament, on January 15, 2020, in Strasbourg, eastern France. (AFP)
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Updated 12 July 2020

Jordan king says virus 'under control'

  • "We have successfully dealt with the coronavirus, which today is under control in Jordan," the King said
  • Jordan recorded 1,179 cases of the virus including 10 deaths

AMMAN: Jordan's King Abdullah II said Sunday that his country had successfully brought the novel coronavirus "under control" and that it was time to focus on restarting the economy.
"We have successfully dealt with the coronavirus, which today is under control in Jordan," he said during a meeting with prominent Jordanians.
"But like every country in the world we have paid an economic price, and the time has come to focus... on the economic situation," a palace statement quoted him as saying.
The desert kingdom, which has recorded 1,179 cases of the virus including 10 deaths, imposed a tough curfew enforced with drones to curb the spread of COVID-19, before easing policies in early June.
King Abdullah said that Jordan would "come out stronger (from the crisis) compared to other countries in the region".
Health authorities have almost daily been reporting new cases among Jordanians and foreigners entering the country.
They have also maintained social distancing measures, made face masks compulsory in most public places and required newly-arrived travellers to wear electronic bracelets to ensure that they observe quarantine.
Before the coronavirus struck, Jordan hosted five million tourists a year, including at famous sites like Petra and Wadi Rum, bringing in $5 billion last year.
But the vital sector, which employed some 100,000 people, has been battered by the pandemic and the ensuing lockdown restrictions.
King Abdullah acknowledged the impact of the crisis but said any decision to reopen would need to be "closely examined".
The kingdom said last month it would start welcoming overseas visitors at its private hospitals, after a months-long pause.
Around quarter of a million people used to visit Jordan annually for medical treatment, bringing in some $1.5 billion a year, before the pandemic broke out.
Unemployment in Jordan hit 19.3 percent during the first quarter of 2020.


Lebanon extradites three accused of rape in Egypt

Updated 26 September 2020

Lebanon extradites three accused of rape in Egypt

  • The public prosecution confronted the defendants with film evidence of their crimes and a statement from the victim
  • The case dates back to 2014, but became public at the end of July 2020

CAIRO: Lebanese authorities have handed over three of the accused in the case of the gang rape of a young woman in a hotel in Cairo, known as the Fairmont incident, to the Egyptian authorities.
A statement by Egypt’s public prosecution stated that it had received a message from Interpol to arrest the fugitive suspects for the attack on an 18-year-old woman at the Fairmont Nile City hotel in Cairo in 2014.
The public prosecution confronted the defendants with film evidence of their crimes and a statement from the victim. The public prosecution asked the defendants about how the crime occurred and the role of each of them, as well as interrogating them about the method of their escape to Lebanon.
After Amr Hafez and Amir Zayed were arrested for a similar incident, the public prosecution investigated six other defendants.
Among the defendants was Nazli Karim, daughter of the actress Noha Al-Amrousy, and Ahmed Al-Ganzouri, the organizer of the Fairmont hotel party on the night of the crime.
At the end of last month, the Lebanese National News Agency announced that the Internal Security Forces Directorate received a letter from Egyptian Interpol containing the names of seven Egyptian citizens accused of raping a woman who were in Lebanon.
After investigation, it was found that five of the accused had visited Lebanese territory, two of them had left, and three were still in Lebanon.
The Lebanese agency added that the defendants left the hotels without their bags in what appeared to be an attempt to escape the Lebanese security forces, who raided their place and arrested them in the town of Fatqa, 30 km northeast of Beirut, on Aug. 28.
Earlier, the Egyptian Public Prosecution ordered the detention of three suspects in pretrial detention for a period of four days pending investigation, and released three others in the event that each of them paid bail of 100,000 Egyptian pounds ($6,338), and another with a guarantee of his place of residence.
The prosecution also brought the defendants to the forensic medicine office to determine the extent of their drug use, in addition to investigating the messages on their phones.
It is reported that one of the accused, A.T., is the son of a famous football coach. Egyptian media sites reported that investigation authorities renewed their contact with Interpol to arrest the son of a famous businessman, who is currently in London, because of information indicating his involvement in the case.
The case dates back to 2014, but became public at the end of July 2020 when social media accounts shared stories about Egyptian youths from wealthy families luring a woman during a party at the Fairmont to a hotel room after they put a narcotic in her drink and filmed the incident.
The prosecution began its investigation into the case at the beginning of August, after receiving a complaint from the National Council for Women, an Egyptian government institution that deals with women’s affairs. The complaint included the woman’s evidence and the testimonies of people who provided information about the incident.