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The House of Saud: Senior figures tortured and beaten in purge

  • Published at 12:12 pm November 11th, 2017
  • Last updated at 12:15 pm November 11th, 2017
The House of Saud: Senior figures tortured and beaten in purge
Some senior Saudi figures detained in last Saturday's purge were allegedly “beaten and tortured” during their arrest or interrogations, according to the Middle East Eye (MEE). The said figures were so severely injured that they needed medical care. Insiders from the royal court also told MEE that “the scale of the crackdown, which has brought new arrests each day, is much bigger than Saudi authorities have admitted, with more than 500 people detained and double that number questioned.” Members of the royal family, government ministers and business tycoons were arrested in an anti-corruption drive which was led by the new Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (known as MBS). MEE reports: “Some, but not all, of the top figures arrested were singled out for the most brutal treatment, suffering wounds to the body sustained by classic torture methods. There are no wounds to their faces, so they will show no physical signs of their ordeal when they next appear in public.” Some detainees were reportedly tortured “to reveal details of their bank accounts.” There is a sense of panic in Riyadh after the purge – “particularly among those associated with the old regime of King Abdullah, who died in 2015, with power then passing to his half-brother, King Salman.” Some speculate and fear that the crackdown is a move by MBS “to knock out all rivals both inside and outside the House of Saud” before he takes his 81-year-old father's place.
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MEE writes that seven princes were released on Wednesday from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh – where they had been detained since Saturday, and sources said the top royals have been moved to the king’s palace. The crown prince’s cousin, Mohammed bin Nayef, is still under house arrest. According to Reuters, Nayef's assets have been frozen. Sultan bin Abdulaziz's son have also been arrested and had their assets frozen. Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, Saudi national security council secretary general and former Saudi ambassador to the United States, leaves the airport after greeting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Riyadh 03 March 2007. Ahmadinejad arrived in Saudi Arabia today for talks with King Abdullah expected to focus on the sectarian bloodshed in Iraq, the crisis in Lebanon and Tehran's nuclear row with the West. Before leaving Tehran, Ahmadinejad said he would discuss how Iran and the kingdom can work together to reduce tensions in the Middle East | AFP
Prince Bandar bin Sultan, one of the most famous among the arrested figures, is a former Saudi ambassador to Washington and friend of former US president George W Bush. MEE also mentions the arrest of Princess Reem, the daughter of Al-Waleed bin Talal – making her the only woman to be targeted in the latest round-up.