News ID: 301870
Published: 0139 GMT April 05, 2021

Jordan's Prince Hamzah strikes defiant tone amid palace turmoil

Jordan's Prince Hamzah strikes defiant tone amid palace turmoil

Jordan's Prince Hamzah, accused of a "wicked" plot against his elder half-brother King Abdullah II, has struck a defiant tone, insisting he will not obey orders restricting his movement.

The government has accused Hamzah of involvement in a seditious conspiracy to "destabilize the kingdom's security", placed him under house arrest and detained at least 16 more people, AFP reported.

But 41-year-old Hamzah, who says he has been ordered to stay inside his Amman palace, vowed he would defy orders limiting his movement and communications, in an audio recording posted on Twitter late Sunday.

"I don't want to make moves and escalate now, but of course I'm not going to obey when they say you can't go out, you can't tweet, you can't communicate with people, you're only allowed to see your family," he said.

Hamzah – a former crown prince who was stripped of that title by Abdullah in 2004 – has emerged as a vocal critic of the monarchy, accusing Jordan's leadership of corruption, nepotism and authoritarian rule.

In a video he sent to the BBC Saturday he bemoaned "incompetence that has been prevalent in our governing structure for the last 15 to 20 years and has been getting worse".

He charged that "no one is able to speak or express opinion on anything without being bullied, arrested, harassed and threatened".

Hamzah denied being involved in any "nefarious" plot, but said he had been placed under house arrest, with his phone and internet cut, by Jordan's military chief, General Youssef Huneiti.

King Abdullah, 59, named Hamzah crown prince in 1999, in line with their father's dying wish, but stripped him of that title five years later and named his own son Prince Hussein, now 26, heir to the throne.

Hamzah's mother, American-born Queen Noor, defended her son, tweeting that she was "praying that truth and justice will prevail for all the innocent victims of this wicked slander."

Jordan's official Al-Rai daily said in an editorial Monday that the country "has avoided a chapter of unrest thanks to the expertise of the Jordanian leadership and security services".

It blamed Hamzah, arguing that "the king tried to solve some problems within the Hashemite family, but his brotherly desire to solve the problem ... was not received positively".




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