The former crown prince of Jordan said he was placed under house arrest and his bodyguard was arrested.
In a video clip transmitted to the BBC by the lawyer of Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, half-brother of King Abdullah, the prince accused the country’s leaders of corruption and incompetence.
The Jordanian security services have arrested Al-Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, the former head of the royal court, Bassem Awadallah, in addition to others.
The Jordanian News Agency (Petra), quoting a security source, said that the arrests came for security reasons after close follow-up, indicating that “the investigation into the matter is still ongoing.”
The Jordan News Agency also quoted informed sources as denying what was reported by some media outlets about Prince Hamzah’s arrest or his being under house arrest.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Major General Yusef Ahmed Al-Hunaiti, confirmed the inaccuracy of the allegations published about Prince Hamzah’s arrest, but he indicated that he was asked to stop the movements and activities used to target Jordan’s security and stability within the framework of comprehensive joint investigations carried out by the security services, and as a result of which the Sharif was arrested Hassan bin Zaid and in the name of Ibrahim Awad Allah and others.
Major General Al-Hunaiti said that investigations are continuing, and their results will be disclosed with full transparency and clarity. He stressed that all the measures taken were carried out within the framework of the law and after extensive investigations that required them. He also confirmed that no one is above the law and that Jordan’s security and stability take precedence over any consideration.
Activists had shared news on social media that the arrests campaign included close to the royal court.
The arrests of personalities from or close to the royal family are rare in this country, which is considered a key ally of the United States in the Middle East.
In the first Arab reaction, the Saudi royal court issued a statement read on the official TV, stating: “We stand with Jordan and support King Abdullah’s decisions aimed at preserving the country’s security.”
Awadallah, who was educated in the United States, was a consultant and person close to the Jordanian monarch, Abdullah II, before he later assumed the position of Minister of Finance. He was seen as the driving force of economic reforms before he resigned as chief of the royal court in 2008. Awadallah faced great resistance from the old guard and from the bureaucratic system inherent in the country and which for years had grown up on government privileges.
The powerful General Intelligence Service in Jordan, which has a wide influence in public life, has played a greater public role since the imposition of emergency laws at the beginning of the Corona epidemic last year, which civil society organizations say violate the civil and political rights of citizens.
It is noteworthy that Jordan enjoys few natural resources and its economy has been severely affected by the spread of the Corona epidemic. The kingdom also absorbed waves of refugees fleeing the civil war in neighboring Syria.
Jordan is considered a major ally of the United States in the region, as it has assisted the United States in security operations. It is also a partner in the US-led campaign against the so-called Islamic State.