Saudi Arabia

Saudi Crown Prince Orders House Arrest of Father-in-Law over Meeting with US Security Official

Uncle and father-in-law of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS) will be confined to his home after a suspicious visit, a source revealed, just days after the US put finger on the de facto ruler of the kingdom over murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

MbS issued the house arrest order after Mashour bin Abdulaziz had met with an “important US security official” without the “knowledge of Saudi security officials”, the Saudi source told the Saudi Wikileaks website.

Mashour is the half-brother of the Saudi king, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. Five children of Ibn Saud, the founder and first king of Saudi Arabia, the “third Saudi state”, are still alive and all younger than King Salman and could pose a threat to the MbS ascending to the throne after his father.

The United States government recently confirmed reports that the public had long identified as true. MbS personally ordered the execution of Khashoggi. The Washington Post columnist was kidnapped in the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey in October 2018 and strangled to death before being chopped to pieces. 

While Washington released the report, President Joe Biden failed to reprimand the crown prince, apparently to maintain relations between the two countries. Biden was adamant that he would treat Saudi Arabia very differently to ex-President Donald Trump. But his response to the findings of the report into Khashoggi’s death shows that righteousness often disappears when in office.

Yet, Khashoggi’s case has not been the only gaffe unveiling the primitive and savage traits of the MbS as an autocract. There have also been other cases that have troubled Washington in area of human rights and legitimacy. In November 2017, dozens of Saudi princes, ministers and former ministers were detained and placed in a luxury hotel under tight security guard over allegations of money laundering, bribery, extorting officials, and misappropriation of public funds for personal benefits. 

The detentions had been ordered by Saudi Arabia’s so-called Anti-Corruption Committee headed by MbS, in a crackdown widely believed to be aimed at consolidating his power.

The majority of those high-profile figures later agreed to monetary settlements in exchange for their freedom and paid colossal sums of money.

Another case of disreupte is the war on Yemen which has implicated the Saudi regime, specially the MbS, in war crimes, genocide and crime against humanity.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former President, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, back to power and crushing the popular Ansarullah movement. The war has taken a heavy toll on Yemen’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories.

The United Nations estimated in late 2020 that the war had caused as many as 233,000 deaths in Yemen since 2015, including 131,000 from indirect causes such as lack of food and deadly disease. 

According to the UN, at least 80 percent of Yemen’s 30 million people need some form of aid or protection.

The Houthi Ansarullah Movement, backed by the Yemeni Armed Forces and allied popular groups, has gone from strength to strength against the Saudi-led invaders, and successfully defended Yemen against the aggression, leaving Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the county.

Several human right groups and charities have accused the Western governments of prolonging the war in Yemen by permitting the sale of weapons and military equipments to the kingdom and its allies.

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