Khalil Mazraawi/AFP via Getty Images
Jordan government officials arrested high-profile members of the Kingdom on Saturday, citing the nation’s “security and stability” amid ongoing investigations.
Petra, the official state news agency, reported that Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family, and Basem Ibrahim Awadallah, a former head of the royal court who formerly served as finance minister and planning minister, are among those detained “for security reasons.” As well, Prince Hamzah bin Hussein, the half-brother of King Abduullah II and former crown prince, said he’s been placed under house arrest — a claim disputed by authorities.
In a video statement sent to the BBC later on Saturday, Hamzah had strong words for the security officials who he said had detained him at his home as “a warning.” In it, the prince says the country’s military chief told him not to interact or communicate with other people. The former crown prince said his security detail was removed and that his cell phone and internet services were disabled. He said that satellite internet, his remaining mode of communication, was also under threat.
He said that Jordan’s crackdown on any sort of criticism has stoked fear in the country.
“Even to criticize a small aspect of a policy leads to arrest and abuse by security services and it’s reached a point where no one is able to speak or express…