Jordanian former Crown Prince Hamzah says in a video that he has been placed under house arrest and that his country has been harsh with critics of the royal family. Earlier this evening, Petra State Office reported that Jordanian police have arrested several people from King Abdullah‘s circle.
To news agency Reuters, sources say that the investigation may have to do with a conspiracy to destabilize the country.
According to Petra, among the detainees, former Finance Minister Bassem Awadallah and Sharif Hassan Ben Zaïd, another member of the Jordanian royal family. Jordan’s highest military officer already added that the forces of law have also gone to Hamzah, who is half brother to the king. He was asked to stop “activities against the security and stability of Jordan,” said General Huneiti.
He also said that Hamzah has not been apprehended and that the investigation is still in full swing. According to the General, the results are brought out ‘in a transparent way’.
In the video, which Hamzah‘s lawyer passed to the BBC, the former Crown Prince says that he has done nothing wrong and that he is not involved in a conspiracy either. According to him, he was told by the army that he should not leave his house, nor should he communicate with anyone.
The reason for his house arrest was that he was at meetings where the government or the king was criticized. Hamzah says he’s not accused of making the criticism himself.
In the video he is remarkably critical of the rulers in Jordan. “I am not responsible for the collapse of the administration, corruption and for the incompetence that has dominated the government over the past 15 to 20 years. And that‘s only gotten worse. It’s not my fault people don‘t trust the government.”
According to King Abdullah’s half-brother, freedom of expression is under pressure. “By now, no one can say what he finds without being harassed, arrested, attacked or threatened.”
The detained Awadallah was a driving force behind economic reform in Jordan and was not only Minister of Finance, but also Chief of the Royal Court. There he left in 2008, where he had regularly held up with the established order, which was previously able to benefit greatly from public benefits.
Following the arrests and house arrest of Hamzah, the US, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, among others, expressed their support for King Abdullah.
The Jordanian forces have gained much more influence since the outbreak of the coronaccrisis. There is a very strict emergency law in the country. Civil rights organisations say that these laws undermine civil rights.