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SAUDI AMERICA:11 Saudi Princes Detained at Royal Palace

6 January 2018 15:12


The Saudi security guards arrested 11 princes who had held a protest gathering at the royal palace in Riyadh, transferring them to the country’s largest prison where political inmates are kept.

The Arabic-language al-Sabq newspaper reported that the al-Saif al-Ajrab brigade affiliated to the royal guards arrested the 11 princes at the royal palace and transferred them to al-Ha’er prison to be put on trial.

The Arab daily claimed that they have been arrested for economic reasons.

Relevant reports said earlier this month that Saudi Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has reportedly gone on a hunger strike in protest at the detention of three of his own sons as part of the kingdom’s purported anti-graft campaign, which is considered the biggest purge of the elite in the country’s modern history.

Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz, the father of Al-Waleed bin Talal, has gone on a hunger strike in protest at the purge being carried out by his nephew Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (Mbs) and the detention of three of his own sons, Middle East Eye reported.

The 86-year-old prince, who is the half brother of King Salman, stopped eating on 10 November, shortly after his first son, Al-Waleed, was arrested on 4 November, and has lost 10 kilos in one month.

According to several people who have visited the frail prince, his condition at the King Faisal Hospital in the capital, Riyadh, remains weak.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of the visitors to Talal announced that the frail prince had made no public statement about his refusal to eat.

The unnamed visitor also said that the prince had not raised the issue of the arrest of his three sons with the king during their November meeting, adding that while some branches of the royal family were known to be corrupt, they were left untouched, while arrests were mostly directed at the bin Abdullahs and the bin Talals.

A month before his hunger strike, prince Talal reportedly told friends it was right to protest civilly to draw attention to the tyranny which Crown Prince is establishing under the cover of an anti-corruption purge.

Three of Talal’s sons, including al-Waleed, have been in prison since the first day of the purge carried out on the orders of Saudi Arabia’s so-called Anti-Corruption Committee headed by MbS.

Two sons of Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah have been released late December 2017 from detention at Ritz-Carlton hotel, days after Riyadh released over 20 detainees during a recent alleged anti-corruption drive against businessmen and royals after they reached deals with the government, while trial proceedings would begin soon for those who continue to deny the charges against them, according to a report.

Saudi Arabia’s attorney general approved the release of Prince Meshaal bin Abdullah and Prince Faisal bin Abdullah after they reached financial settlements with the government, according to a report.

Riyadh has released 23 of the 200-or-so powerful individuals detained since early November on corruption charges, while more detainees would be released in the coming days, Saudi daily Okaz wrote late December 2017.

Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption committee overseeing the arrests of top princes and officials also reported that evidence of widespread corruption has been uncovered among “influential officials and senior executives” and the trials will soon be held.

The report did not name those involved in what appeared to be the first large-scale release since the royals, business people and government officials were detained in a crackdown spearheaded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, while, according to some reports, it is punishing select figures in the country, some of whom were potential rivals or possible critics of MbS.

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