Saturday, March 2, 2024

Jailed Saudi Princes Urge Int’l Probe into Kingdom’s Terrors

A group of jailed Saudi princes have called on the international community to investigate the terrors and illegal arrests of dissidents in the Kingdom.

According to a report by Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, the princes called on the world community to put the cases high on agenda along with the case of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

In separate letters to Saudi King Salman, the princes demanded him to launch immediate measures to safeguard the country against what they describe as a plight putting the country at odds with its western allies.

They also called for clarification on the fate of disappeared princes including Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd, son of the former King of Saudi Arabia from 1982 to 2005.

Several sources said the Saudi princes sent the letters to King Salman through Khaled Faisal, a senior advisor to the king, asking him to take immediate steps to prevent dangerous consequences of the murder of Khashoggi. They also warned that the case could negatively affect the future of Saudi Arabia.

To this end, a Saudi prince has called on King Salman to handle the chaos in the royal families before it gets too late. He has also urged an extraordinary meeting of Saudi Arabia’s Royal Families Council which is an advisory council without a binding mandate.

The council consists of three generations of royal families in Saudi Arabia including the sons of Abdulaziz, the founder of Saudi Arabia, as well as their sons and grandsons. It convenes regularly to discuss the future of the royal families. This comes as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has sidelined the council over the past years and downgraded it to a formal institute without any executive power.

Another Saudi prince called on the international community to probe into arrests of Saudi princes as well as social activists in Saudi Arabia for expressing their political and social views.

A number of Saudi princes are under house arrest and the fate of some of them seems uncertain. At present some leading princes including Mohammed bin Nayef, Waleed bin Talal and Nutaib bin Abdullah are under house arrest.

Bin Talal decided to travel abroad several times but was banned by security police. It is believed that the Saudi government has been banned from issuing passport for them. Meanwhile, bin Talal’s brother Khaled was among the disappeared princes until several months ago when it became clear that he is held in jail. Reports say, Khaled has been tortured severely and if he is still alive it is because of his connections with leading Lebanese and Moroccan families.

Bin Fahd’s fate is also uncertain and some reports say he is under house arrest but some others maintain that he has died under torture.

All royal families have managed to make phone contact with their members jailed in Ritz Carlton hotel except for the Fahd family.

Saudi Arabia has come under huge international pressure over its changing accounts of the death of Khashoggi in Istanbul. Even US President Donald Trump has criticized Saudi’s explanation for the death as “all over the place.” He has, however, praised Bin Salman calling him a strong person with very good control. This comes as European countries as well as a number of regional allies have cast doubt on the Saudi narrative of the case calling for a solid probe into the death.

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