The arrests – Among the excellent names – as confirmed by the government agency – are Sharif Hassan Bin Zaid e Basem Ibrahim Awadallah, two senior officials linked to the Royal House. The first – the media recalled – was the Jordanian ambassador to Saudi Arabia and also linked to Prince Ali Ben Hussein, brother of the king. The latter was King Abdullah’s long-time confidant and also finance minister after serving as head of the Royal Household office. Awadallah has been a driving force behind the economic reforms undertaken in the kingdom and has long faced the resistance of the old guard to change.
The role of the king’s half-brother – IThe most important name, however, is certainly that of Hamzah bin Hussein. The Jordanian chief of staff, General Yousef al Huneiti, said he was instructed to refrain from travel and other activities that could be exploited to destabilize the Hashemite kingdom. “No one – continued the general – is above the law and the security and stability of the Jordan take precedence over any consideration “. Hamzah is the son of Queen Noura (of American birth), fourth wife of the late King Hussein and is therefore half-brother of Abdallah II who instead is the son of Queen Muna (British-born), second wife of the former monarch. Hamzah (born 1980) was appointed by Abdallah as Crown Prince in 1999. A position he held until 2004 when Abdallah himself reverted to his decision. The media recalled Hamzah’s criticism of corruption in Jordan. The Jerusalem Post he said there are among the twenty arrested men close to the former Crown Prince, including the director of his office Yasser Sulieman al-Majali. The director of the Hamzah Palace, Adnan Abu Hammad, was also arrested.
The video to the BBC: “I’m under house arrest” – In a video presented to the Bbc by his lawyer, Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, half-brother of King Abdullah of Jordan, claims to “Having been placed under house arrest this morning” and of “he is not responsible for the collapse of governance, of the corruption and incompetence that has prevailed in the government in the last 15-20 years and which is now getting worse ”. “We are at the point where – he said – no one is able to speak or express opinions on anything without it being bullied, arrested, harassed and threatened ”. In the video recorded today, Prince Hamzah says: “I had a visit this morning from the Chief of Staff of the Jordanian Armed Forces who informed me that I was not allowed to go out, communicate or meet people because during meetings I had attended – or on social media or during visits made by me – criticisms of the government or the king were expressed “. King Abdallah’s half-brother points out of not having been accused of criticizing himself, however, he states: “I am not responsible for the collapse of governance, corruption and incompetence that has been prevalent in our governance structure for the past 15-20 years and is now getting worse. And I’m not responsible for the lack of trust people have in institutions either. It has reached a point where no one is able to speak or express opinions on anything without being bullied, arrested, harassed and threatened ”.
The message of the USA – “We are closely following the situation and we are in contact with Jordanian officials. King Abdallah is a key partner of the United States and has our full support ”. The spokesman for the US State Department, Ned Price, said this following the events of the last few hours in Jordan, where among other things Prince Hamzah, half-brother of the king, would have been placed under house arrest.
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