Saudi princess and daughter activists released after three years in prison

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Saudi authorities have released a princess and her daughter who had been held without charge for almost three years, her legal adviser said on Saturday.

Princess Basmah Bint Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, 57, businesswoman, rights activist and member of the royal family, disappeared in March 2019 with her adult daughter Souhoud Al Sharif.

“The two ladies were released from their arbitrary imprisonment and arrived at their home in Jeddah on Thursday, January 6, 2022,” said her legal adviser Henri Estramant.

“The princess is doing well but will require medical expertise,” Estramant added. “She looks exhausted but in a good mood and grateful to be reunited with her sons in person.”

The Saudi government media office did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The government has never publicly commented on this matter.

In 2020, Princess Basmah said via her social media that she had been detained in the capital Riyadh for over a year and was ill.

Criticism of the Treatment of Women The youngest child of the late King Saud, Princess Basmah has criticized the kingdom’s treatment of women.

She was due overseas for medical treatment at the time of her arrest in late February 2019, and was told after her detention that she was accused of attempting to forge a passport, a close relative told the era.

The charges were later dropped, but she remained imprisoned with her daughter who was with her at the time, the relative said.

Princess Basmah said in her social media posts about her detention that she was held at Al-Hair Prison.

Reuters was unable to independently verify the circumstances of his disappearance and detention.

Reuters also could not establish whether his arrest was linked to previous detentions of members of the Saudi royal family and prominent citizens that sources have linked to the consolidation of power of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman or the crackdown on him. dissent, including women’s rights activists.

In a petition submitted to the United Nations, dated March 5, 2020 and seen by Reuters, the princess’ family suggested that the reason for her detention could be her role “as a vocal critic of the abuse in our country of birth, but also to … inquire about the frozen fortune left (by) his father “.

(REUTERS)

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