Jordan Prince Hamzah sends apology to brother King Abdullah one year after 'sedition' plot

Jordan Prince Hamzah sends apology to brother King Abdullah one year after 'sedition' plot
The letter of apology is the first time Prince Hamzah has been heard from in almost a year.
3 min read
08 March, 2022
Prince Hamzah remains a popular figure for much of Jordan's public, especially its tribal elements, due to his outspokeness on political issues.

Former Crown Prince Hamzah, who allegedly staged a coup attempt against his half-brother King Abdullah II of Jordan nearly a year ago, sent an "apology letter" to the monarch this week.

In a letter released by the Hashemite Royal Court on Tuesday, Prince Hamzah said that the last year had "afforded him the opportunity for self-reflection and compelled him to write to his majesty".

He further apologised for "[his] actions" and sought forgiveness from Abdullah.

He added that he hoped to "turn the page on that chapter in the country's and the family's history".

In April 2021, Prince Hamzah, alongside former Royal Court Adviser Bassam Awadallah and Royal Family Member Sharif Hassan Bin Zaid, were detained by Jordanian security forces.

The Jordanian government claimed that the three leading figures were hatching a plot to destabilise the kingdom and topple King Abdullah from the throne with the backing of "external forces".

Though the Jordanian government never officially revealed who these forces were, intelligence agents told media outlets they suspected Saudi and Israeli officials were behind the conspiracy.

Since then, Prince Hamzah has remained under virtual arrest "under the care of his majesty", while the latter two have been imprisoned for their role in the "seditious plot".

The Prince Hamzah affair was the most significant political turmoil the authoritarian country had experienced since 2011. Hamzah was, and remains, a popular figure in Jordan, well liked for his military background and anti-corruption stance.

In a video released right before his arrest, the prince spoke out against corruption in the state and the economic malaise that had afflicted the country over the past decade.

Currently, Jordan's unemployment rate stands at about 25 percent and protests against the worsening economic conditions in the country are relatively common.

Prince Hamzah’s statements resonated with the Jordanian public – especially members of the tribal constituency, many of whom have nursed a sense of grievance under King Abdullah II.

In the wake of the Prince Hamzah affair, King Abdullah pledged to make significant political reforms. To that end, he created a "Political Modernization Committee" to draft changes to the country's electoral system.

In January 2022, Jordan's parliament passed a number of the committee's proposed reforms, mainly related to election laws and political parties.

The parliament also passed a number of changes proposed by the government itself, which gave the king sweeping new powers to appoint and dismiss officials. Critics have said these new constitutional reforms have strengthened the king's powers at the expense of parliament.

Prince Hamzah has not been seen in public since the "seditious plot" last April. The last known photo of the former crown prince to be published was a picture of him with his newly born child in February.