Jordanian Authority Places Crown Prince of Late King Under House Arrest - Penangle | News Portal in Nigeria
Sun. Jun 16th, 2024
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Former Crown Prince of Jordan, Prince Hamzah bin Hussein says he has been placed under house arrest as part of a crackdown on government critics.

In a video sent to the BBC by his lawyer, Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, the half-brother of King Abdullah, accuses the country’s leaders of corruption, incompetence and harassment.

It comes after a number of high-level arrests said to be linked to an alleged coup plot.

The military earlier denied Prince Hamzah was under house arrest, but said he had been ordered to stop actions that could be used to target the country’s “security and stability”.

The move apparently comes after a visit by the prince to tribal leaders where he is said to have garnered some support.

Prince Hamzah is oldest son of the late King Hussein and his favourite wife Queen Noor, and a graduate of the UK’s Harrow School and Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. He also attended Harvard University in the US and has served in the Jordanian Armed Forces.

Prince Hamzah was named Crown Prince of Jordan in 1999 and was a favourite of the King Hussein, who often described him in public as the “delight of my eye”.

However, he was seen as too young and inexperienced to be named successor at the time of King Hussein’s death.

Instead it was King Abdullah who took to the throne and stripped Hamzah of the title of Crown Prince in 2004. This was seen as a blow to Queen Noor, who had hoped to see her eldest son become king.

Meanwhile, Prince Hamzah has denied any wrongdoing and said he was not part of any conspiracy.

In the meantime, regional powers including Egypt and Saudi Arabia have voiced support for King Abdullah. The United States, which is allied with Jordan in its campaign against the Islamic State group, described the monarch as a key partner who has its full support.

In the video recorded on Saturday, Prince Hamzah says: “I had a visit from the Chief of General Staff of the Jordanian Armed Forces this morning in which he informed me that I was not allowed to go out, to communicate with people or to meet with them because in the meetings that I had been present in, or on social media relating to visits that I had made, there had been criticism of the government or the king.”

He says although he was not accused of making the criticisms himself.

However, he went on to say: “I am not the person responsible for the breakdown in governance, the corruption and for the incompetence that has been prevalent in our governing structure for the last 15 to 20 years and has been getting worse… And I am not responsible for the lack of faith people have in their institutions.”

“It has reached a point where no one is able to speak or express opinion on anything without being bullied, arrested, harassed and threatened.”

High level political arrests are rare in Jordan, a key US ally in the Middle East.

Its economy, already challenged before the advent of Covid-19, is in poor shape and there is rising public dissatisfaction.

The country has few natural resources and its economy has been hit hard by the pandemic. The kingdom has also absorbed waves of refugees from the civil war in neighbouring Syria.

In the video message, which is reminiscent of the one from Dubai’s imprisoned Princess Latifa, Prince Hamzah accused government of corruption, nepotism and incompetence.

He says all his staff have been arrested, he and his family have been placed under house arrest in the Al-Salaam Palace outside Amman and his communications have been restricted.

Others detained on Saturday include Bassem Awadallah, a former finance minister, and Sharif Hassan Bin Zaid, who is also a royal.

Mr. Awadallah, an economist who was educated in the US, has been a confidant of the king and an influential force in Jordan’s economic reforms.

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