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The prince of Jordan said he was imprisoned and lashed out at the authorities



Amman, Jordan (AP)-

The half-brother of Jordan’s King Abdullah II said on Saturday that he has been placed under house arrest and accused the country’s “ruling system” of incompetence and corruption, exposing rare rifts in the ruling monarchy of close allies of the West.

Prince Hamzah issued a statement on the video tape after the country’s official news agency reported that two former senior officials and other suspects were arrested for “security reasons”, although the authorities denied that Hamzah has been detained or placed under house arrest.

In a video leaked to the BBC, Hamza (the former crown prince who was stripped of his title in 2004) said that the country’s military chief visited him earlier on Saturday and told him that he is not allowed to go out, communicate or communicate with others. Meet with them.

He said his security details have been deleted, and telephone and Internet services have also been cut off. He said he is speaking through the satellite Internet and hopes that this service can also be reduced. The BBC said it received a statement from Hamza̵

7;s lawyer.

Hamza said he had been told that he was punished for participating in a meeting where the king was criticized, although he said he was not accused of participating in criticism.

Then he slammed the “ruling system” without mentioning the king’s name. He said that the king had decided that “the king’s personal interests, financial interests, and corruption are more important than the lives, dignity and future of 10 million people living here.”

He said: “I do not belong to any conspiracy, evil organization or foreign-supported group. What I say here is always a request to anyone who speaks.” “Some people in this family still love this country, and they care about (its The people) and put them first.”

He added: “Obviously, this is a crime worthy of isolation, threat, and now cut off.”

High-ranking members of the ruling family rarely criticize the government so harshly, and any sign of turbulence in Jordan may cause concern for the country’s Western allies.

Hamzah is a popular figure in Jordan. He was seen as pious and humble, keeping in touch with ordinary people, similar to his beloved father, King Hussein. He has criticized the government in the past, accusing officials of approving the income tax law in 2018 after “unqualified management”.

The country’s top general has previously denied that Hamza was detained or placed under house arrest. Petra’s official news agency quoted General Yousef Huneiti as saying that Hamzah was asked to “stop some activities aimed at the security and stability of Jordan.

He said that the investigation is ongoing and the results will be “disclosed in a transparent and clear form.”

He added: “No one can transcend the law, and Jordan’s security and stability are absolutely the most important.”

Petra had earlier reported that members of the royal family Sharif Hassan bin Zaid (Sharif Hassan bin Zaid) and former Royal Court President Bassem Ibrahim Avadala (Bassem Ibrahim) Awadallah) was detained. Avadala previously served as Minister of Planning and Minister of Finance, and has private business interests throughout the Gulf region.

The agency did not provide more details, nor did it disclose the names of other arrested persons.

Since the death of his father King Hussein in 1999, Abdullah has ruled Jordan. Over the years, Abdullah has established close relationships with the United States and other Western leaders, and Jordan is the main ally against the Islamic State group. The country shares borders with Israel, the occupied West Bank, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price said: “We are following these reports closely and keeping in touch with Jordanian officials.” “King Abdullah is an important partner of the United States, and he has our full support. “

Saudi Arabia’s official news agency said that Saudi Arabia “confirmed its full support for Jordan and its crown prince and crown prince in maintaining security and stability and resolving all decisions and procedures that attempt to affect them.”

Jordan’s economy has been hit by the coronavirus pandemic. The country has a population of about 10 million and it also hosts 600,000 Syrian refugees.

Jordan achieved peace with Israel in 1994. These countries maintain close security relations, but in recent years, relations between the two countries have been tense, mainly due to differences related to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. There are 2 million Palestine refugees in Jordan, most of whom are Jordanian citizens. The Israeli Foreign Ministry declined to comment.

The stability of Jordan and the status of the king have long been a concern, especially during the Trump administration. The Trump administration provided unprecedented support to Israel and tried to isolate Palestine refugees by reducing funding for Palestine refugees. Palestinians.

In early 2018, the government increased aid to Jordan by more than $1 billion in five years due to the threat of then-President Donald Trump to cut aid to countries that did not support US policies.

Abdullah stripped his half-brother Hamzah of his crown prince title in 2004, saying that Abdullah had decided to free him from “position restrictions” in order to allow him to take on other duties . In the next five years, this move was seen as part of Abdullah’s consolidation of power.

The current crown prince is Abdullah’s eldest son Hussein, 26 years old.

The ruling family in Jordan can be traced back to Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. A few hours after his father died of cancer in February 1999, Abdullah chose Hamzah as the crown prince. This appointment was made out of respect for King Hussein. As everyone knows, King Hussein is the most favored of Hamzah’s 11 children in four marriages.

So far, Abdullah and Hamza have not shown any open competition. In the video statement, the portrait of King Hussein can be seen on the wall behind the prince.


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