The split in Jordan’s royal family exploded into the open on Saturday, as the younger brother of the ruling monarch said he was effectively placed under house arrest and state media reported that senior officials had been arrested as part of the security investigation.
In a video clip broadcast by the BBC, Prince Hamzah bin Al Hussein denounced the efforts made to silence him, and criticized the government of his brother King Abdullah, an important US ally, saying: “This country has become in a critical situation in corruption, favoritism and bad governance.”
The prince – who was removed from the position of crown prince, a position that King Abdullah placed next to the throne in 2004 – said that a number of his friends had been arrested and that he had been told not to leave his home. He said his security guards were removed and internet and phone lines cut off.
More than 20 people have been arrested so far, most of them close allies of the prince, according to senior Arab envoys residing in Jordan and another person familiar with the matter. The Jordanian government news agency (Petra) quoted the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Jordanian Army as saying that the detainees are being held as part of “comprehensive joint investigations conducted by the security forces.”
These people said that Jordanian authorities have informed diplomats that they are investigating a foreign-backed plot to destabilize the country. Prince Hamzah said in his video that there was no such plot.
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