Jordan's Prince Hamzah says he will disobey army orders, won't keep silent

Published April 5, 2021
The half-brother of King Abdullah and former heir to the throne said in the recording released by the country’s opposition that he would not comply after being barred from any activities and told to keep quiet. — AFP/File
The half-brother of King Abdullah and former heir to the throne said in the recording released by the country’s opposition that he would not comply after being barred from any activities and told to keep quiet. — AFP/File

Jordan’s estranged Prince Hamzah, in a voice recording released on Monday, said that he would disobey orders by the army not to communicate with outside world after he was put under house arrest.

The half-brother of King Abdullah and former heir to the throne said in the recording, released by the country’s opposition, that he would not comply after being barred from any activities and told to keep quiet.

“I am going to escalate and won’t obey when they tell you you cannot go out or tweet or reach out to people and are only allowed to see the family,” he said in the recording he circulated to friends and contacts.

On Saturday, the military warned the prince over actions it said were undermining “security and stability” in Jordan, a key US ally. Prince Hamzah later said he was under house arrest. Several high-profile figures were also detained.

Officials announced on Sunday that Prince Hamzah had liaised with people who had contacts with foreign parties in a plot to destabilise the country and he had been under investigation for some time.

It is unclear why the kingdom decided to crack down on Prince Hamzah now, but he put himself at risk by making frequent visits to tribal gatherings where some people criticised the king.

Officials said efforts were underway to resolve the crisis within the royal family, in the first such open rift in many years, but Prince Hamzah was not cooperative.

King Abdullah removed Prince Hamzah from his position as heir to the throne in 2004, in a move that consolidated his power.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office in a statement said Pakistan "is following the situation in Jordan".

"We stand in solidarity with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, led by His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein.

"Pakistan fully supports the right of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to preserve its security, stability and sovereignty," it added.

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