Jordan's army: Prince Hamza not arrested, but asked to stop activities

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 4, 2021

In a videotaped statement leaked to the BBC, Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, half-brother of Jordan's King Abdullah, said he was visited early on Saturday by the country's military chief and told "I was not allowed to go out, to communicate with people or to meet with them". As well, Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, the half-brother of King Abduullah II and former crown prince, said he's been placed under house arrest - a claim disputed by authorities.

This file handout picture released by the Jordanian news agency Petra on January 12, 2012 shows Prince Hamzah, half-brother of Jordan's King Abdullah, and his new wife Princess Basma Otoum (right) posing for a picture during their wedding ceremony at the Royal Palace in Amman.

The move is within the framework of comprehensive joint investigations conducted by the security apparatuses, which resulted in the arrest of royal family member Sharif Hassan Ben Zeid and former minister Bassem Awadallah, among others, according to the state-run Petra news agency.

The pair were detained for "security reasons", Petra said, quoting a security source. "God bless and keep them safe", tweeted his American-born mother, Queen Noor Sunday.

But he did not think there is a credible threat to Abdullah's rule and it is unlikely to lead to a popular uprising.

Hamzah, 41, was Jordan's crown prince between 1999 and 2004, when Abdullah removed him and appointed his own son.

Hamzeh has held multiple positions within the monarchy, including in the army, where he holds the rank of brigadier general.

Saad al-Hariri, the Lebanese prime minister-designate, said: "All the solidarity with the Jordanian leadership and King Abdullah in defending the gains of the Jordanian people, protecting their stability, and refusing interference in their affairs".

Hamzah said he was not accused of making the criticisms himself.

Almost 20 arrests were made, and an intelligence official said more would follow.

Sherif is a title given to those close to the royal family in Jordan.

"All that happened was that some of the prince's actions were used to target Jordan's security and stability".

"We are... in touch with Jordanian officials". "King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States", Ned Price said, "and he has our full support".

"The kingdom stresses its full support for the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan. and for the decisions and measures taken by King Abdullah II and Crown Prince Hussein to safeguard security and stability", it said. In a GCC statement, the bloc's Secretary General Nayef Falah Mubarak Al Hajraf stressed that the GCC stands with Jordan and supports all measures it takes to maintain its security and stability.

Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt and the Gulf Cooperation Council have issued similar statements.

Former advisers to the King of Jordan and more than a dozen other high-profile figures were detained on Saturday night following a reported coup attempt.

Before becoming royal court chief in 2007, he was head of the king's cabinet in 2006.

He had been a rising figure in Jordan, playing a key role in pushing for economic reforms in the cash-strapped country until he resigned in 2008.

Saturday's security sweep comes as Jordan prepares to mark 100 years since the new kingdom then named Transjordan was established alongside Palestine under British mandate.

It declared independence in 1946, and despite having little oil wealth, severely lacking water and repeatedly being rocked by wars on its borders, the kingdom has managed to survive the regional upheavals.

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