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Saturday, January 28, 2023

Saudi princess Basmah bint Saud released after 3 years in prison

Saudi authorities have released a princess and her daughter who had been detained without charge for nearly three years, her legal advisor said on Saturday. The Prisoners of Conscience NGO also confirmed the release, saying the pair were set free on Thursday after three years of detention.

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Saudi authorities released a Saudi princess and her daughter after almost three years in prison, two human rights groups confirmed on Sunday.

The London-based ALQST human rights group tweeted that Basmah bint Saud Al-Saud and her daughter should have been released.

The two were detained by Saudi authorities in March 2019.

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The rights group said that no charges were leveled against the Saudi princess

The Prisoners of Conscience NGO also confirmed the release, saying the pair were set free on Thursday after three years of detention.

The princess’ legal adviser, Henri Estramant, told CNN Arabic that “the princess is doing fine but will be seeking medical expertise.”

“She seems worn out but is in good spirits and thankful to reunite with her sons in person,” he added.

There was no comment from Saudi authorities on the report

On April 24, 2020, the princess’s website published a message from her from inside al-Ha’ir Prison calling on her uncle, King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to release her due to her deteriorating health.

Princess Basmah built a reputation as an outspoken member of the Saudi royal family. She had called for the kingdom to adopt a constitutional monarchy and spoken out on women’s and human rights issues.

In written testimony to the United Nations in 2020, her family said her detention was likely due in large part to her “record as an outspoken critic of abuses.”

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She has also been deemed an ally of former Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the testimony added.

Last July, representatives of the family of Princess Basmah filed an appeal with UN experts at the Human Rights Council requesting that the world body intervenes in her case.

“There are real and serious concerns that Princess Basmah and Suhoud are arbitrarily detained, in circumstances that present a serious risk to life, have been denied their right to a fair trial, and their treatment may amount to torture and ill-treatment, contrary to international law,” the filing read.

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Saudi authorities have arrested dozens of activists, bloggers, intellectuals and others perceived as political opponents ever since bin Salman became the kingdom’s de facto leader in 2017, showing almost zero tolerance for dissent even in the face of international condemnations of the crackdown.


Courtesy: Adoulou