Jordanian MP 'arrested' following assault on Egyptian waiter

Jordanian MP 'arrested' following assault on Egyptian waiter
2 min read
05 October, 2015
The politician and two of his brothers have reportedly been arrested after an attack at a restaurant in Aqaba.
Khaled Othman, a waiter, was bruised in the assault [Facebook]
Three Jordanian brothers, including a member of parliament, who allegedly assaulted an Egyptian waiter at a restaurant in the city of Aqaba, have been arrested following discussions with Jordanian authorities, according to the Egyptian ambassador to Jordan, as reported by al-Masry al-Youm.

The alleged attack was caught by a CCTV camera, with the video clip circulated on social media, stirring controversy and further discussion about immigrant workers' rights in Jordan.

The Egyptian embassy in Amman threatened to sue the MP, Zaid Shawabkeh, and the Jordanian government condemned the reported assault.

Before the arrest was carried out on Monday, Shawabkeh reportedly had his parliamentary immunity removed.

The incident was exposed earlier this week, and led to small rallies outside the Egyptian embassy in Jordan in support of Khaled Othman, the waiter.

Othman told al-Masry al-Youm that the MPs had called him a "dog" and that he had been treated "like an insect".

Activists on social networking expressed anger at the MP's alleged behaviour using the hashtag #immigrantrights, demanding that the MP be punished, and the worker should be given an apology.

Mohammed al-Momani, Jordanian government spokesman, said "the Jordanian state is founded on law and institutions that protect citizens and residents, and that anyone is guaranteed to resort to a fair judiciary".

The Egyptian embassy in Amman said it rejected "any direct insults of any Egyptian citizen from any person whatsoever", stressing the need to respect "the dignity and rights" of all Egyptian citizens.

Ibrahim Geneina, head of an association for Egyptians in Jordan, said that "insults to the Egyptian worker" were not acceptable:

"How could a person representing the people assault a defenceless employee?"

In 2013, it was estimated that there were 400,000 Egyptian workers in Jordan, the majority of whom were working there illegally, with only 177,000 possessing work permits.