RIYADH: Prince Hamza bin Hussein, the former heir to the throne of Jordan, said in a video statement on Saturday he was under house arrest and had been told to stay at home and not to communicate with anyone.
“I’m making this recording today to try to explain what has happened over the last few hours with me. I had a visit from the Chief of Staff of the Jordanian Armed Forces this morning in which he informed me I was not allowed to go out, to communicate with people, or to meet with them,” said Prince Hamza, who is half brother of the current Jordanian King, Abdullah II.
“Because in the meetings I had been present in or on social media relating to visits that I have made, there has been criticism of the government or the king,” he added in the video, passed by his lawyer to the BBC.
Hamza said he was given a warning from the Chief of Staff of the Jordanian Armed Forces, the Chief of Police, and the Chief of Security Services that he should not leave his house, that he could only visit family, that he could not tweet, and that he could not communicate with people.
He also stressed that he was not part of any foreign conspiracy and denounced the ruling system as corrupt.
He said he told the army chief: “I am not the person responsible for the breakdown in governance, for the corruption and for the incompetence that has been prevalent in our governing structure for the last 15 to 20 years and has been getting worse by the year. I am not responsible for the lack of faith that people have in their institutions. They are responsible.”
The former Crown Prince had been told to halt actions used to target the country's "security and stability", the military said earlier on Saturday.
In a statement published on the state news agency, army chief Yusef Huneity denied reports that Prince Hamza had been arrested but said he was told to "stop activities that are being exploited to target Jordan's security and stability". He did not specify what such actions were.