Jordan’s King Abdullah issued a decree Thursday restricting the movement, place of residence and communications of his half-brother Prince Hamzah.
The king issued the royal decree after approving a recommendation submitted to him on December 23 by a council formed under the Royal Family Law, state news agency Petra reported.
The king explained his decision, saying that when Prince Hamzah’s actions of “sedition” emerged, he decided to handle the matter within the family in the hope that Prince Hamzah “would come to his senses.”
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“However, after a year and a half, he [failed] to do so… and I [unfortunately] realized that he will not change his ways,” King Abdullah said in a letter. “I realized he [suffers from] a delusion where he sees himself as the guardian of our Hashemite legacy and where he believes that [he is the victim] of a systematic campaign [launched against him] by our institutions.”
The king also noted that Prince Hamzah’s remarks and actions “reflected his denial of the reality he lives” and showed that he rejects to bear responsibility for his actions.
In April 2021, Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi said Prince Hamzah had attempted to mobilize local officials for actions intended to harm Jordan's security.
Prince Hamzah apologized in March in a letter to the king over the attempt, saying he bears the responsibility for any mistakes made against the king and the country and for the consequences of his actions which pertain to “sedition.”
“My brother, Hamzah, continues to ignore all the facts and conclusive evidence,” the king also said, adding that Prince Hamzah manipulated facts “to back his fake account” of events.
“Unfortunately, my brother truly believes his claims,” he added.
King Abdullah also described Prince Hamzah’s actions as “irresponsible” actions that aim to sow unrest, noting that even though Prince Hamzah had pledged to quit these actions, he soon “returned to the path he’s adopted for years.”
“He puts his interests above the country’s interests… and plays the role of the victim.”
The king revealed that he had been patient and tolerant for years in the hope that Prince Hamzah would one day “mature” and contribute to serving the people of Jordan and protecting the country and its interests.
Prince Hamzah continued to suspect everyone around him while justifying his inability to serve the country by claiming he was “targeted,” King Abdullah said.
The king also revealed that he received complaints from army commanders and soldiers saying that Prince Hamzah arrogantly dealt with them and that he attempted to “raise doubts about the professionalism of the Armed Forces.”
Acknowledging that he’s well-aware of the country's challenges, King Abdullah said he welcomes constructive criticism. But, “these challenges cannot be resolved through actions that attempt to exploit the economic circumstances to spread despair.”
Commenting on Prince Hamzah’s absence during the funeral of their uncle, Prince Mohammed bin Talal, in April, King Abdullah said Prince Hamzah refused to attend the funeral to “strengthen the idea that he’s the victim.”
The king also said that Prince Hamzah ignored the advice of members of the royal family to amend his ways, adding that a private letter that Prince Hamzah sent him on January 15 “misrepresented facts… and ignored everything that does not harmonize with his version of events.”
“He ignored what has been exposed about his suspicious relations and communications with Bassem Awadallah as well as Hassan bin Zaid who sought assistance from foreign embassies to inquire about the possibility of supporting him in case a change in governance happens,” the king said, adding that Prince Hamzah was well-aware of bin Zaid’s actions.
Awadallah, who once served as a top adviser to the king, and bin Zaid, a member of the royal family, were found guilty of sedition and incitement in July 2021 and sentenced to 15 years in prison.
After Prince Hamzah sent him the letter in January, the king also explained that he responded to the letter and later met with him to present “a roadmap to rebuild trust.”
“I was optimistic when he decided to acknowledge what he has done, and he sent me a letter [in March] apologizing to the nation and me.”
However, it was only weeks before Prince Hamzah “proved his ill intentions, as he went back to playing the role of the victim,” the king said, adding that Prince Hamzah did not leave his residence for an entire month and issued a statement relinquishing his royal title even though he’s well-aware that granting and relinquishing titles is the king’s jurisdiction.
Prince Hamzah also sent a private letter to the king asking him to allow him to keep the “financial and logistical privileges” of his title during the next phase.
The king noted that he would not allow anyone – not even his brother – to put his interests above the country’s interests.
“Hence, I have decided to approve the council’s recommendation,” he said, adding that he had been patient about approving it because he wanted to give Prince Hamzah a chance to review his actions.
“Considering his destructive behavior, I will not be surprised if he issues abusive statements. However, we will not waste time to respond to him as I [firmly believe] he will continue to [act upon] his misleading [version of events] for the rest of his life.”
“Prince Hamzah will remain in his palace in accordance with the council’s decision and in order to guarantee that he will not repeat his irresponsible actions – actions which will be dealt with shall he repeats them,” the king added.