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Half-brother of Jordan's king is under house arrest again

Former Prince Hamza bin Hussein is under arrest again, just a month after renouncing his royal title
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AP/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE  -   Jordan's King Abdullah II ibn Al-Hussein speaks at a press conference after talks at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, 15 March 2022.

Jordan's King Abdullah II has once again placed his half-brother Prince Hamza bin Hussein under house arrest, preventing him from communicating with outsiders.  

In a missive issued by Abdullah II himself, the king stated that he would not allow "anyone to put his interests above the interests of the nation (...) or even my brother to disturb the peace of our proud nation". This statement comes a month after Hussein himself renounced his royal title on the grounds that his values "are not in line with the modern approaches, trends and methods of the institutions" of the Hashemite kingdom. 

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Cuenta de Twitter de la Corte Real vía AP - This photo from the Royal Court Twitter account, shows Jordan's King Abdullah II, centre, Prince Hamzah bin Al Hussein, second left, and others praying during a visit to the tomb of the late King Hussein, in Amman Jordan, Sunday, April 11, 2021.

This resignation also came a month after he apologised to the king for his involvement in the coup attempt against Abdullah II a year ago. In it, two former officials, the head of the Jordanian Royal Court, Basem Ibrahim, and a member of the Royal Court, Sharif Zaid Hussein, were sentenced to 15 years in prison. The Jordanian authorities also arrested a total of 16 people who were allegedly involved in the case. 

What is not known at the moment is why the Jordanian king has put his half-brother back under house arrest. Even more so when he has already apologised and renounced his royal title. "We do not have the luxury of time to deal with Hamzah's erratic behaviour and aspirations. We have many challenges and difficulties ahead of us, and we must all work to overcome them and fulfil the aspirations of our people and their right to a dignified and stable life," the king said after implementing this measure. 

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AFP/ KHALIL MAZRAAWI  - Jordan's former Crown Prince Hamzah, implicated in a coup plot against his half-brother King Abdullah II in 2021, renounced his royal title on 3 April 2022.

It also states that the former prince "will not change after more than a year during which he would have exhausted "all opportunities to restore himself to the right path, in line with the legacy of our family". It goes on to state that "Hamzah continues to ignore all the facts and indisputable evidence, manipulating events to reinforce his false narrative". 

He further stated that "the deception in which he lives" his brother "is not something new". According to him, "other members of our Hashemite family and I have long realised that he is in breach of his promises and persistent in his irresponsible actions aimed at sowing unrest, without concern for the ramifications of his behaviour on our country and our family". 

For Abdullah II, Hamzah has allegedly put his own interests before those of the nation and accuses him of living "within the confines of his own reality instead of recognising the great stature, respect, love and care we have shown him". 

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AFP PHOTO/JORDANIAN ROYAL PALACE/YOUSEF ALLAN  -  King Abdullah II during a swearing-in ceremony for new ministers following a cabinet reshuffle in the capital Amman.

Alongside this, it went on to stress that Hamzah had allegedly presented "a false narrative of his role in the sedition case" without having taken into account "the facts that the public learned regarding his suspicious relationship and communications with the traitor Bassem Awadallah and Hassan bin Zeid, whom my brother knew had approached two foreign embassies to inquire about the possibility of their countries supporting what he described as regime change". 

Almost two decades before Hussein relinquished his title as prince, King Abdullah II stripped the future successor of his title as crown prince to name his son, Prince Hussein bin Abdullah, as heir to the throne, a situation that exacerbated internal crises within the Hashemite Royal Court.  

The coup attempt further demonstrated the internal divisions and fractures within the Jordanian lineage, further highlighted by Hussein's re-arrest, his second by order of his brother in just over a year.