Saudi princess Basmah bint Saud released after almost three years in jail


A Saudi princess and her daughter who were arrested nearly three years ago and held without any charges, have been freed from a high-security prison by the kingdom’s authorities, a human rights group said.

Princess Basma bint Saud, youngest daughter of King Saud, who ruled Saudi Arabia between 1953 and 1964, was detained in March 2019 when she was preparing to fly to Switzerland to receive medical treatment for an undisclosed illness.

It is not known why the 57-year-old princess was detained, and neither she nor her daughter Suhoud were charged with any crime.

Some have speculated it may have been related to her advocacy on humanitarian issues and constitutional reform.

Her family told the United Nations in a written statement in 2020 that it was likely due in large part to her “record as an outspoken critic of abuses”, news agency AFP reports.

Other supporters suggest it was her close links to former crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who is reported to have been placed under house arrest.

Princess Basma appealed to Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to release her last April, saying she had done nothing wrong and that her health was suffering.

Announcing her released on Twitter, the ALQST for Human Rights said she had been “denied the medical care she needed for a potentially life threatening condition” during her time in the Al-Ha’ir prison, on the outskirts of the capital.

The Saudi rights group added. “At no point during her detention has any charge been levelled against her.” (Source: BBC)