Jordan's ex-Crown Prince Hamzah 'under 'house arrest'
DW, 04 Apr 2021
The former crown prince of Jordan, Hamzah bin Hussein says he's been placed under house arrest. In a video message, the King's half brother sharply criticized Jordanian leaders, but denied being part of an alleged coup plot. Jordanian authorities have arrested several other high-level officials for what they describe as "security reasons."
Six months after attending Hamzah's wedding, King Abdullah stripped him of his title of Crown Prince and give it to his own son instead.
But Hamzah remained popular in Jordan, close to tribal leaders and seen as in touch with ordinary people. He now says that's why he's been targeted.
In a video sent to the BBC, Hamzah says he is under house arrest, after being warned that he got too close to critics of the King. He says he is not part of any conspiracy - but he does openly condemn Jordan's leaders.
State TV earlier announced that Hamzah had been asked to stop activities targeting "security and stability." It said security agencies arrested multiple former top officials, as reports swirled of a plot to unseat the King.
The army denies that the former Crown Prince himself is under arrest. But alarm bells are ringing for Jordan's allies, which see it as a key bastion of stability in a volatile region.
Recent protests against coronavirus measures fanned concerns that stability could be wavering after years of austerity.
But King Abdullah has the backing of regional leaders and powerful friends. The US and Saudi Arabia are among those who have expressed support. Jordan's security forces say investigations into Prince Hamzah are ongoing.
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