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

Marco Green
Апреля 4, 2021

Speaking in English in the video recording, passed by his lawyer to the BBC, Prince Hamza said the country's leaders were a corrupt few who put their interests above the public. "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".

Jordan government officials arrested high-profile members of the Kingdom on Saturday, citing the nation's "security and stability" amid ongoing investigations.

In his video, Hamzah said he was visited early Saturday by the kingdom's military chief and told he could not go out, communicate with people or meet with them.

What is the prince accused of?

Safadi said Awadallah was in contact with the so-called "foreign opposition", which aimed to incite the people against the Jordanian state.

His Majesty King Abdullah was informed of the outcomes of the investigation and made a decision to directly converse with the prince and tackle the manner as a familial issue, according to the foreign minister.

Safadi did not identify the foreign countries allegedly involved in the plot.

Hamzeh has held multiple positions within the monarchy, including in the army, where he holds the rank of brigadier general. He noted that dialogue was ongoing.

Following his work in the king's office and a stint as finance minister, Awadallah established new businesses in UAE and Saudi Arabia.

U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said, "King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States, and he has our full support".

The UK also backed the king. The king has cultivated close relations with USA and other Western leaders over the years, and Jordan was a key ally in the war against the Islamic State group.

Amman-based journalist Rana Sweis told DW that Prince Hamzah's video appeal was "unprecedented". "He has a very candid resemblance to his father, King Hussein, and he is also very popular with the local tribes", she said.

"Praying that truth and justice will prevail for all the innocent victims of this wicked slander", former Queen Noor wrote on Twitter. "God bless and keep them safe", she tweeted.

These people, members of loosely organised groups known as Herak who in addition to their domestic presence represent a vocal opposition based overseas, have in recent weeks called for protests against corruption in a country hard hit by COVID-19's impact on the economy.

However, high-level political arrests are rare. This change has been condemned by civil rights groups.

He said that Jordan's crackdown on any sort of criticism has stoked fear in the country.

"What Prince Hamzah said is repeatedly heard in the homes of every Jordanian", said Ahmad Hasan al Zoubi, a prominent Jordanian columnist.

He was replaced as crown prince in 2004 in favour of King Abdullah's son Hussein. US special forces and other troops routinely train with the Jordanians.

However, he was seen as too young and inexperienced to be named successor at the time of King Hussein's death. He is seen as religious and modest, in touch with the common people and similar to his beloved father, the late King Hussein.

Who else has been arrested?

He has cultivated strong ties with several US administrations, but, in recent years, sparred with former president Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over proposed Israeli plans to annex the West Bank and bypass the Palestinians in a bid for Israeli normalization with the rest Arab world.

He has often found himself pitted against entrenched government bureaucracy resistant to his plans, observers say.

Amid rumors of "foreign" involvement in the alleged plot, Jordan's regional neighbors were quick to voice support for the monarch.

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