Middle East

Saudi princess pleads with ruling family for release

Princess Basmah says she is being jailed without charges

Zehra Nur Duz   | 16.04.2020
Saudi princess pleads with ruling family for release


A Saudi princess appealed Thursday for release from prison to Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman.

“I am beseeching my uncle King Salman and my cousin, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to review my case, and to release me as I have done no wrong,” Princess Basmah bint Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud said on Twitter.

Basmah said she is being “arbitrarily” jailed at Al-Ha'ir prison “without criminal, or otherwise any charges against” her.

“I was abducted without an explanation together with one of my daughters, and thrown into prison,” she said.

The princess, 55, contends her health is deteriorating which could lead to her death, and she has not received any medical treatment.

“My current health status is VERY critical,” Basmah said.

She also said letters written from prison to the Royal Court have gone unanswered and tagged a number of U.S. politicians, including President Donald Trump, human rights groups Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and various media organizations and journalists.

The plea comes nearly a month after London-based Middle East Eye (MEE) reported Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrested a number of princes from the royal family March 6 in a move to take the throne before the upcoming G20 Summit in November in Riyadh.

Although there is no official statement regarding the number arrested, top royal family members told MEE at least 20 members were arrested.

They include King Abdulaziz's younger brother, Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz and his son, Nayef bin Ahmed, as well as former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.

In November 2017, Saudi authorities arrested dozens of businessmen and princes on corruption allegations and held them in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh.

Since then, bin Salman, who has faced harsh criticism for his alleged role in the murder of journalist Khashoggi, has consolidated his grip on power.

Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and columnist for The Washington Post, went missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on Oct. 2, 2018.

After initially saying he had left the consulate alive, weeks later, the Saudi administration admitted he was killed there, blaming a rogue group of Saudi operatives.

The CIA reportedly determined with confidence that bin Salman directed Khashoggi's murder.

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