The half-brother of King Abdullah of Jordan and former crown prince, Hamza Bin Hussein, has been questioned and asked to step down. According to international news agencies, this happened for security reasons. The Washington Post and press agency Reuters sources report that this is an attempt to destabilize the country.
The action is said to be part of an ongoing security investigation. Nearly twenty people have been arrested in this context, reports the official Jordanian press agency Petra. These include former finance minister Bassem Awadallah and a member of the royal family Sharif Hassan Ben Zaid.
In 2004, King Abdullah relieved his half-brother Hamza as heir to the throne. In doing so, he strengthened his own position. In Jordan, the royal family still has a lot of political power. Arrests of senior officials and members of the royal family are rare in Jordan, considered one of the most stable countries in the region.
Hamza showed up on Saturday night, according to the TV channel Al Jazeera know in a video message that he is under house arrest and that the army command has told him that he is not authorized to contact anyone. Two of his bodyguards were kidnapped.
Hamza denies being involved in a conspiracy against his half-brother, but has criticized the current regime. “I am not the person responsible for the collapse of the board of directors, the corruption and incompetence that has reigned in our board structure for the past fifteen to twenty years.”
King Abdullah has received statements of support from Egypt, Lebanon, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the United States.