Jordan’s King Abdullah II’s half-brother believes he has been put under house arrest and accuses Jordan’s “ruling system” of corruption, incompetence, and abuse.
After Jordan’s military refuted news of the former crown prince’s detention, Prince Hamzah bin Al Hussein made a videotaped statement on Saturday, saying he had been asked to “stop certain movements and activities that are being used to target Jordan’s security and stability.”
The notification to Prince Hamza was part of a larger, ongoing security inquiry in which a former minister, a junior member of the royal family, and unidentified others were arrested, according to the military.
The prince, on the other hand, maintained he was not involved in any plot, saying in a video sent to the BBC by his lawyer that he was “not allowed to go out, speak with people, or interact with them.”
Prince Hamzah said he had been told he was being disciplined for attending meetings where the king was criticized, but he said he was not accused of participating in the criticism.
People could no longer criticize the government or express an opinion “without being intimidated, abused, or threatened,” he said, adding that Jordanians’ well-being had been “put second by a ruling structure that has determined that its personal interests, financial interests, and corruption are more important than the lives, dignity, and future of the 10 million people who live there.”
Earlier, army chief Yousef Huneiti refuted claims that the prince had been detained, but said he had been ordered to “stop activities that are being used to undermine Jordan’s security and stability.”
He said that the investigation is ongoing and that the findings will be made public “in a fair and clear manner.”
“No one is above the law and Jordan’s security and stability are above all,” he told the official Petra news agency.
Security forces had arrived at the prince’s small palace and started an investigation, according to two people familiar with the situation. In 2004, King Abdullah deposed Prince Hamza as heir to the throne, consolidating his power.