The Jordanian Monarchy is living some unfortunate days. The Jordanian authorities have accused Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, former heir to the throne, of having carried out "movements and activities" aimed at "destabilizing the security" of the country with foreign aid. In turn, he has denounced a series of 16 detainees for "sedition." Among them are former Finance Minister Bassem Awadallah and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a royal family member. There would be no military involved.
At the moment, among those arrested is not the prince, half-brother of Jordanian King Abdullah II, according to the Efe agency. At the first press conference of a government member since the arrests, Jordan's Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi acknowledged that security services had long followed suit, "the activities and movements of Hamzah bin al-Husein (…) and other people whose objective was the stability of the homeland.
Queen Noor of Jordan, born in Washington as Elizabeth (Lisa) Najeeb Halaby, has called the accusations against her confined son "infamous slander". "Praying that truth and justice prevail for all innocent victims of this heinous slander," wrote the last wife of King Hussein on his Twitter account.
Punishment for criticism of the government
In a video provided to the BBC by his lawyer, the former heir has denied his involvement in destabilizing maneuvers. The prince has said that the operation aims to silence him for his criticism of the government. He has denounced that the authorities are keeping him under house arrest, which the ruling party denies.
The former heir said in the video. I am not responsible for the failures, corruption, and incompetence of the government that has prevailed in our governance structure for the last 15 years and has gotten worse.
Prince Hamzah, who trained at Sandhurst Military Academy and studied at Harvard, was a favorite of the late King Hussein, whom he closely resembles. He is the firstborn of Queen Noor. He was named heir in 1999.
However, he was considered too young when King Hussein died, so his older brother, from another mother, Abudah, ascended to the throne. The current king stripped Prince Hamzah of his title of the heir in 2004.
Jordan is a key country for the stability of the Middle East. The United States has expressed its support for the King of Jordan, Abdullah II, whom it has described as a "key partner.