Jordan’s former crown prince Hamzah bin Hussein, the half-brother of the country’s ruler King Abdullah II, claims he has been placed in isolation and his communication cut off, in a video statement obtained by the BBC.
Prince Hamzah said he had been told by the Jordanian military that he shouldn’t leave his home, suggesting he has been put under house arrest.Hamzah is the oldest son of Jordan’s late King Hussein and his American-born wife Queen Noor.
“I had a visit from the Chief of the 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 that in the meetings that I had been present in or on social media relating the visits that I’ve made, there’s been criticism of the government or the King,” he said in the video, which the BBC says was sent to it by the prince’s lawyer.
The clip emerged as Jordan’s state news agency Petra reported that another member of the royal family, Hassan bin Zaid and the former head of the royal court, Basem Awadallah, were arrested on Saturday due to “security reasons.”Petra said an investigation was underway but offered no additional details.
Zaid is a distant cousin of King Abdullah II. His brother was Ali bin Zaid, an intelligence officer killed along with seven CIA operatives in 2010 in a suicide bombing in Khost, Afghanistan.
In the video, Hamzah said he was not “part of any conspiracy or nefarious organization or foreign-backed group as is always the claim here for anyone who speaks out.
“He also blamed the country’s leaders of being responsible for “the breakdown in governance, for 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 by the year.”
“This is my last form of communication, satellite internet, that I have. And I’ve been informed by the company that they’re instructed to cut it, so it may be the last time I’m able to communicate,” he said.
Hamzah was initially considered the favorite to succeed his father. However, before King Hussein died of cancer in 1999 he named Abdullah his successor, as Hamzah was seen as too inexperienced and young to become a monarch.
Abdullah appointed Hamzah crown prince in 1999 before revoking the title in 2004. Hamzah is highly popular in Jordan due to his resemblance to his father.”Praying that truth and justice will prevail for all the innocent victims of this wicked slander,” Queen Noor, Hamzah’s mother, wrote on Twitter Sunday. “God bless and keep them safe.”