Home Zambia News Jordan Prince Hamzah Vows To Defy ‘House Arrest’ Orders

Jordan Prince Hamzah Vows To Defy ‘House Arrest’ Orders

Prince Hamzah bin Hussein

The former crown prince of Jordan has said he will defy government orders to stop communicating with the outside world and remain indoors.

Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, 41, said he had been placed under house arrest on Saturday in videos given to the BBC.

He was accused of plotting with “foreign entities” to destabilise the kingdom.

The former heir to the throne denies conspiracy, but he has accused Jordan’s leaders of corruption and incompetence.

Prince Hamzah was first in line to succeed his half-brother, King Abdullah, as Jordan’s head of state until 2004, when he was removed as crown prince. King Abdullah designated his son as heir instead.

In another development, Israeli businessman Roy Shaposhnik, who says he is a personal friend of Prince Hamzah, confirmed he had offered to fly the prince’s wife and family to Europe to stay at his house.

He issued a statement after Jordanian Deputy Prime Minister Ayman al-Safadi said such an offer had been made by a man with links to an unnamed foreign security service.

Mr Shaposhnik has reportedly denied ever being a member of Israel’s intelligence agency.

On Sunday, Jordan’s opposition released a recording in which a defiant Prince Hamzah said he would not obey orders from the authorities.

“I don’t want to make moves and escalate now,” he said in the audio recording posted on Twitter.

“But I’m not going to obey when they say you can’t go out, you can’t tweet, you can’t communicate with people [and] you’re only allowed to see your family.”

“I think it’s a bit unacceptable,” he added.

The public rift between Prince Hamzah and King Abdullah is unprecedented. Tensions within the royal household, however, have reportedly been present for some time.

Jordan is a constitutional monarchy, but the royals play a major role in public life and King Abdullah has extensive powers. He can appoint governments, approve legislation and dissolve parliament.

The country is also a key Western ally, and reports of Prince Hamzah’s detention raised fears that the wider region could be destabilised. However, regional powers and Western allies, including the US and UK, have all voiced support for the king.

In many a sitting room and in open spaces of Jordan, there has long been chatter about tensions within the royal family and hushed conversations about alleged corruption and misrule. But there has also been relief that Jordan remained a relative rock of stability in a terribly rickety region.

In the past, King Abdullah has dealt with discontent by changing government ministers. But in what is now one of his greatest challenges, he cannot change his family.

Jordanians are expressing shock to see a long-standing fault line crack wide open. And it has clearly rattled neighbours and allies, including other Arab monarchies who have rushed to back the King, and his Kingdom’s stability.

The government says the monarch is trying to resolve this, in Hashemite tradition, within the family. But his younger half-brother seems to have decided to break with tradition.

Sources say family members are now trying to mediate to find a way out of this crisis. There are still crucial questions – over this alleged plot designed with foreign entities, and over the extent of Prince Hamzah’s ambitions.


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