19 February 2019

Saudi Arabia announced an end to its high-profile anti-corruption campaign on January 31, 2019, but some of those rounded up remain in detention without a clear legal basis, Human Rights Watch said today.

Those who remain in detention without clear legal status include Prince Turki bin Abdullah, the former governor of Riyadh and son of the late King Abdullah; Prince Turki’s associate Faisal al-Jarba; Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz bin Salman and his father, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman bin Mohammad; and a former planning minister, Adel al-Fakieh.

A March 12, 2018 New York Times report said that 17 Ritz Carlton detainees required hospitalization for physical abuse. They included Maj. Gen. Ali al-Qahtani, an aide to Prince Turki, who later died in custody, the report said, with a neck that appeared twisted and a badly swollen body and other signs of abuse. The report cited a person who saw the body, which in addition to a twisted neck, had burns that appeared to be from electric shocks. Human Rights Watch reported.

Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz bin Salman was detained in January 2018, two months after the 2017 Saudi Arabian purge. Salman’s father was arrested two days after his son. People close to him told the Washington Post that he was summoned to the palace in the middle of the night, then beaten and arrested after he arrived.

Following the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on 2. October 2018, the family of Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz bin Salman expressed grave concern about his and his father’s fate because they have not heard any news about them since they were summoned to the Royal Palace 10 months ago.

Prince Salman’s mother is Princess Nouf bint Abdullah bin Abdulrahman al-Faisal bin Turki al-Saud. Her father, Abdullah, is the younger brother of King Abdulaziz, founder of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Turki bin Abdullah Al Saud is the seventh son of the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who ruled Saudi Arabia from 2005 until his death in 2015 and a member of the House of Saud. The authorities did not freeze Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz or his father’s assets or ask for financial settlements.