Jordan's Prince Hamzah bin Hussein 'under house arrest'


The half-brother of Jordan's King Abdullah has said he has been placed under house arrest, claiming he was being punished for taking part in meetings in which the king had been criticised.


In a video leaked to the BBC and several broadcasters by his lawyer, Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, accuses the country's leaders of corruption, incompetence and harassment.


He said his security detail was removed, and his phone and internet service had been cut.


The video 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 it said he had been ordered to stop actions that could be used to target Jordan's "security and stability".


"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," he said.

"I'm not part of any conspiracy or nefarious organisation or foreign-backed group, as is always the claim here for anyone who speaks out," he added.


"There are members of this family who still love this country, who care for (its people) and will put them above all else."


In a statement posted by Jordan's state news agency, it was said that Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, another member of the royal family, and Bassem Ibrahim Awadallah, a former confidant of King Abdullah II, had been arrested.


Prince Hamza was a former crown prince of Jordan, but was removed as heir to the throne by King Abdullah in 2004 in what was seen as a consolidation of power.


The tradition of the ruling Hashemite dynasty under the 1952 constitution gives the crown to the eldest son, but the monarch retains the option of naming a brother to be next in line.


The pair share a father in the late King Hussein, but have different mothers.


Prince Hamza's mother, Queen Noor, said in a tweet:"Praying that truth and justice will prevail for all the innocent victims of this wicked slander. God bless and keep them safe."


Meanwhile, 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 (IS) group, described the monarch as a key partner who has its full support.


Jordan has few natural resources and its economy has been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. It has also absorbed waves of refugees from the civil war in neighbouring Syria.


Who is Prince Hamzah?

Prince Hamzah is a graduate of the UK's Harrow School and the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He also attended Harvard University in the US and has served in the Jordanian armed forces.


He was named crown prince of Jordan in 1999 and was a favourite of 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 his older half-brother, Abdullah, ascended the throne and stripped Hamzah of the title of crown prince in 2004.


The move was seen as a blow to Queen Noor, who had hoped to see her eldest son become king.


King Abdullah has ruled Jordan - which borders Israel, the Palestinian territories, Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia - since the death of his father, King Hussein in 1999.King Hussein ruled the country for close to half a century.


0 comments