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News ID: 51232
Publish Date: 13:18 - 04 April 2021
Sunday, 04 April 2021_The former crown prince of Jordan says he has been confined to his house and his communications have been restricted amid an ongoing crackdown on alleged coup plotters.

Ex-crown prince of Jordan says under house arrest amid crackdown over alleged coupIn a six-minute video provided to the BBC by his lawyer on Saturday, Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, the half-brother of King Abdullah II, said he and his family have been placed under house arrest in his palace outside Amman and all his staff have been arrested.

He denied being part of “any conspiracy, or nefarious organization or foreign-backed group,” accusing the kingdom’s ruling system of corruption, incompetence and harassment.

“I had a visit from chief of 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 in the meetings that I had been present in or on social media relating to visits that I had made, there had been criticism of the government or the king,” he said.

“Since then a number of… my friends have been arrested, my security has been removed and the internet and phone lines have been cut. This is my last communication, satellite internet that I have.”

Also in the video, Prince Hamzah said he wanted to make “clear to the world that what you see and hear in terms of the official line is not a reflection of the realities on the ground. Unfortunately, this country has become stymied in nepotism, in corruption, and in misrule and the result has been the destruction or the loss of hope that is apparent in pretty much every Jordanian.”

The prince further said he had told Jordan’s Joint Chiefs of Staff head Major General Yousef Huneiti that he was "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."

“It has reached a point where no one is able to speak or express opinion on anything without being bullied, arrested, harassed and threatened,” he added.

Hamzah was named the crown prince of Jordan in 1999, but King Abdullah II transferred the title to his son, Prince Hussein, in 2004. 

The Washington Post reported that the prince was “placed under restriction” as part of a probe into an alleged plot to unseat the king.

The coup attempt “included at least one other Jordanian royal as well as tribal leaders and members of the country’s security establishment,” according to the report.

Meanwhile, the Jordanian army said in a statement that the former crown prince had been asked “to stop some activities that could be used to shake the stability and security of Jordan.”

It added that Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family, and Bassem Awadallah, who was director of King Abdullah's office in 2006, had been arrested following "comprehensive investigations undertaken by security agencies.”

The United States and several regional countries such as Saudi Arabia have voiced support for the Jordanian king. The Arab League and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have also adopted a similar stance. 

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said, “We are closely following the reports and in touch with Jordanian officials. King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States, and he has our full support.”

Similarly, the Saudi royal court said, “The kingdom affirms its full support, with all its capabilities, to all decisions and measures taken by King Abdullah and His Highness Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, the Crown Prince, to maintain security and stability.”

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