Jordan Silences Entire Kingdom Over Intrigue Roiling Royal Family

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Amman's prosecutor general has banned the publication of any details of an alleged plot to destabilize the kingdom—just as tape of an irate former Crown Prince Hamzah emerged.
In an unprecedented attempt to control the messaging on a simmering feud embroiling the Jordanian monarchy, Amman's prosecutor general on Tuesday banned the publication of any information about the royal rift.

"In order to keep the security services' investigation into Prince Hamzah and the others secret, [it is decided] to ban the publication of anything related to this inquiry at this stage," prosecutor Hassan al-Abdallat said on state television. "The ban on publication involves all audiovisual media and social networks, as well as the publication of all images or video clips relating to this subject on pain of legal action."

The kingdom-wide gag order came within hours after a secret recording of Hamzah and Gen. Yousef Huneiti, the military chief of staff, was released. In the recording, Huneiti can be heard accusing the former crown prince of conspiring with those critical of the ruling class, who he says "started talking more than they should."

Hamzah can be heard becoming irate, raising his voice and accusing the general of threatening him.

"You come to me and tell me in my house what to do and who to meet with in my country and from my people? Are you threatening me?… You come to my house and tell me you and security leaders are threatening me? Not to leave your house, only go to your family and don't tweet?" Hamzah says, according to the Associated Press account of the recording. "The bad performance of the state is because of me? The failure is because of me? Forgive me, but the mistakes are my fault?"

Huneiti then appears to try to calm the situation, telling the prince he is only a messenger,…
Barbie Latza Nadeau
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