Jordanian Monarchy's Takedown of a Prince Is a Master Class in Quashing Dissent
6 min read
fairly difficult
Step one: Isolate the individual in question and remove all lines of outside communication.
The palace intrigue rocking Jordan took a mysterious turn on Monday when the former crown prince, who claimed he was under house arrest after being accused of plotting a coup against his half-brother the king, vowed to "escalate" the situation—only to have the royal family later release a statement suggesting he had acquiesced.

In the voice recording released Monday, a defiant Prince Hamzah bin Hussein said that he "won't obey" government orders to remain silent and isolated—the most confrontational display of dissent Jordan has seen from a royal in recent years.

But by evening time in Jordan, the situation had become even murkier. Jordan's Royal Court released a letter purported to be from Hamzah in which he sounded contrite.

"I place myself in the hands of his majesty the king... I will remain committed to the constitution of the dear Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan," it read.

It was the latest confusing turn in a drama that began Saturday when The Washington Post had reported that Hamzah, along with roughly 20 other high-ranking Jordanian officials, had been detained for plotting to unseat the sitting monarch—Hamzah's half-brother—King Abdullah II. Senior intelligence and palace officials had told the Post that the alleged plot was elaborate and backed by foreign entities, threatening the kingdom's stability and security.

Initially, palace officials had denied reports that Hamzah's movements had been restricted. But then Hamzah blew apart the royal family's decades-old golden rule—to keep infighting behind closed doors—by recording and leaking to the BBC a video of himself explaining what had taken place. In it, he described a visit from a top military official who had ordered him not to leave his house or communicate with anyone outside of his family.

"It may be the last time I am able to communicate," said the 41-year-old prince, who claimed that he had effectively been placed under house arrest. "I have spoken with people and tried to remain connected to…
Tracy Connor
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