Jordan’s former Crown Prince gets ‘house arrest’ for accusing officials of ‘corruption’

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The former Crown Prince of Jordan was placed ‘under house arrest’ today with his ‘internet and telephone lines cut,’ he claimed in a video.

Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, the half-brother of Jordanian King Abdullah II, recorded a five-minute video from his palace in Amman on Saturday.

In what Prince Hamzah described as his last available form of communication before his satellite internet was cut off, he accused the country’s leaders of corruption, incompetence and intimidation.

In the video shared with the BBC, he said: “ I had a visit this morning from the Chief of the General Staff of the Jordanian Armed Forces in which he told me that I was not allowed to go out to communicate with people or meet them because I had been present at the meetings in – or on social media in connection with visits I had made – there was criticism of the government or the king. ‘

It reportedly comes after the prince paid a visit to tribal leaders, where he is said to have garnered support. Prince Hamza denied any wrongdoing.

General Yousef Huneiti, the army chief of staff, denied reports that Prince Hamzah had been arrested, but said he was asked to `` end some of the movements and activities used to address Jordan's security and stability. ''  Pictured, King Abdullah II of Jordan in December 2020

General Yousef Huneiti, the army chief of staff, denied reports that Prince Hamzah had been arrested, but said he was asked to “ end some of the movements and activities used to address Jordan’s security and stability. ” Pictured, King Abdullah II of Jordan in December 2020

General Yousef Huneiti, the army chief of staff, denied reports that Prince Hamzah had been arrested, but said he was asked to “ end some of the movements and activities used to address Jordan’s security and stability. ”

He said that an investigation is still underway and that its results will be made public in a ‘transparent and clear format’.

“No one is above the law and Jordan’s security and stability are above all else,” he told the official Petra news agency.

Prince Hamzah, whose title of Crown Prince was revoked by the King in 2004, went on to say: ‘I am not the person responsible for the collapse of government, the corruption, and for the incompetence that has prevailed in our governance structure for the last 15 to 20 years and it has gotten worse … And I am not responsible for the lack of confidence people have in their institutions.

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

He said he was isolated in his home with his Canadian wife Princess Basmah Bani Ahmad and their five young children.

Prince Hamzah bin Hussein (pictured), the half-brother of Jordanian King Abdullah II, whose title of crown prince was revoked by the king in 2004, recorded a five-minute video from his palace in Amman

Prince Hamzah bin Hussein (pictured), the half-brother of Jordanian King Abdullah II, whose title of crown prince was revoked by the king in 2004, recorded a five-minute video from his palace in Amman

Prince Hamzah bin Hussein (pictured), the half-brother of Jordanian King Abdullah II, whose title of crown prince was revoked by the king in 2004, recorded a five-minute video from his palace in Amman

Petra had previously reported that at least two senior officials who previously worked for the palace “and others” had been arrested for “security reasons,” without providing further details.

The Petra report said Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, the former royal envoy to Saudi Arabia, and Bassem Ibrahim Awadallah, the former head of the royal court, were detained.

Awadallah was also previously Minister of Planning and Minister of Finance.

The agency has not provided further details or named the others who have been arrested.

Jordan has long been an important Western ally and an island of stability in a turbulent region. It borders Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Abdullah has ruled Jordan since the death of his father, King Hussein in 1999, who ruled the country for nearly half a century.

Prince Hamzah (pictured in 2015) went on to say: 'I am not the person responsible for the government's collapse, the corruption and the incompetence'

Prince Hamzah (pictured in 2015) went on to say: 'I am not the person responsible for the government's collapse, corruption and incompetence'

Prince Hamzah (pictured in 2015) went on to say: ‘I am not the person responsible for the government’s collapse, the corruption and the incompetence’

Abdullah has maintained close relations with American and other Western leaders over the years, and Jordan was a key ally in the war against the Islamic State group.

The country’s economy has been battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Jordan, with a population of about 10 million, is also home to more than 600,000 Syrian refugees.

Jordan made peace with Israel in 1994, but relations have been tense in recent years, largely due to differences related to the Israeli conflict with the Palestinians.

Jordan is home to more than two million Palestinian refugees, most of whom have Jordanian citizenship.

He said he was isolated in his home with his Canadian wife Princess Basmah Bani Ahmad and their five young children.  Pictured on their wedding day in 2012

He said he was isolated in his home with his Canadian wife Princess Basmah Bani Ahmad and their five young children.  Pictured on their wedding day in 2012

He said he was isolated in his home with his Canadian wife Princess Basmah Bani Ahmad and their five young children. Pictured on their wedding day in 2012

Abdullah stripped his half-brother Hamzah of his title as Crown Prince in 2004, saying that he had decided to ‘free’ him from the constraints of the Crown Prince position in order to give you the freedom to work and undertake any mission or responsibility. I entrust that to you. ‘

The current Crown Prince is Abdullah’s eldest son, Hussein, aged 26.

Abdullah had chosen Hamzah as his crown prince hours after their father died of cancer in February 1999. The designation was out of respect for Hussein, who is known to have favored Hamzah the most of his 11 children from four marriages.

Abdullah and Hamzah have not shown open rivalry over the years.