Turmoil in Jordan: Ex-Crown Prince’s Palace Raided, Aides Arrested
Former crown prince Hamzah clarified in a video that he wasn’t part of any conspiracy or foreign-backed coup.
Jordan’s former crown prince Hamzah bin Hussein’s palace was raided on Saturday, 3 April, amid suspicion of his involvement in an alleged coup aimed at destabilising Jordan.
Two of Hamzah’s senior aides – Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family, and Bassem Ibrahim Awadallah, head of the royal court in 2007-2008 – were arrested, according to the official Petra news agency.
What Are the Allegations?
Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi said that Prince Hamzah had been liaising with foreign parties over a “malicious plot” to destabilise the country.
Deputy PM Safadi said, “The investigations had monitored interferences and communications with foreign parties over the right timing to destabilise Jordan,” Al Jazeera reported.
He added, “Initial investigations showed these activities and movements had reached a stage that directly affected the security and stability of the country. But his majesty decided it was best to directly talk to Prince Hamzah, to deal with it within the family to prevent it from being exploited.”
The military had issued a warning to Prince Hamzah on Saturday to stop any activity that could harm the monarch. Prince Hamzah later revealed in a video that he was under house arrest while several high-profile leaders were arrested. However, a statement issued by the chief of staff claimed that Hamzah was not under arrest.
Deputy PM Safadi clarified that 14 to 16 people had been arrested.
Daoud Kuttab, director-general of a non-profit media organisation, told Al Jazeera: “Former Crown Prince Hamzah has been making the rounds, especially in tribal areas, and that is a kind of a red line for the government and for the king. These are the strongest supporters of the monarchy and the ones who are more courageous in standing up to government corruption. So, I think that’s what has really upset people in the palace.”
Kuttab added that since no security personnel had been arrested, it couldn’t really have been a coup. However, some analysts believe that Prince Hamzah has not gotten over the fact that his title of crown prince was taken away in 2004 and given to King Abdullah’s eldest son.
What Former Crown Prince Hamzah Said:
In a video sent to BBC by the prince, he can be heard saying, “I am not the person responsible for the breakdown in governance, for the corruption and the incompetence that has been prevalent in our governing structure for the last 15 to 20 years and has been getting worse every year. I am not responsible for the lack of faith people have in institutions. They are responsible.”
He further clarified in the video that he wasn’t part of any conspiracy or foreign-backed coup, which, he asserted, was a claim generally assigned to anyone who spoke out.
“There are members of this family who still love this country, who care (for its people) and will put them above all else. Apparently, that is a crime worthy of isolation, threats and, now, being cut off,” the video concluded.
(With inputs from AlJazeera.)
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