Princess Basma Bint Saud, a 56-year-old businesswoman from the royal family, was arrested in March last year before traveling to Switzerland for medical treatment, according to a source close to her family.
“I don’t know if you have any knowledge of my being in prison yet with my daughter Sohd al-Sharif,” the princess wrote in a letter on her official page on Twitter, calling on King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman to “consider my order to release I am released and receiving appropriate treatment because I am in a very critical situation. ”
“I am currently in Al-Ha’ir prison, and my health condition is very deteriorating and critical that may lead to my death, and I did not get any medical care or any response to any request.” And hours later, these tweets were deleted.
Fear of Corona
Two sources close to the Princess family told AFP that her Twitter account had been hacked for a short time “by someone inside Saudi Arabia.”
“Since the tweets, there is no communication or indications from the princess or her daughter, witnesses, no phone calls, nothing,” one source added.
The family’s anxiety deepened further after fears that the new Corona virus could spread inside Al-Hayer prison.
Prior to the tweets, one phone call was allowed per week with the princess and her daughter, and her family’s witnesses said that prison authorities had indicated that there were new HIV infections in prison.
A prison employee confirmed to the princess’s family that a number of HIV infections had been recorded in the prison, according to the sources.
To date, the Kingdom has recorded more than 25,000 cases of the emerging coronavirus.
Allied bin Nayef
Princess Basma is the youngest son of the late Saudi King Saud bin Abdul Aziz, and she was preparing to travel to Switzerland on a private plane in March last year, before a group of men arrived at her residence in Jeddah.
They told the princess that they came to accompany her to attend a private meeting with the Saudi king, according to the sources, and Soud decided to accompany her mother, and they were transferred directly to Al-Hayer prison.
In a written testimony to the United Nations, the family said the reason why Princess Basma was detained was probably linked to her “record as a public critic of the violations in our country,” as well as to her questions about the wealth of King Saud that the state froze.
The family fears that her detention without any charges may be aimed at “getting rid of the princess,” according to the document.
The written document confirmed that the princess was also considered an ally of the former crown prince, Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, who was replaced by the current crown prince in 2017.
Last March, the Saudi authorities also arrested King Salman’s brother, Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and the nephew of the King, former Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, for accusing them of organizing a “coup” to topple the crown prince.
Princess Basma suffers from health problems, including osteoporosis and digestive problems, according to her medical records, and the two sources said that she was deprived of medical care in prison.
Her detention in Al-Hayer Prison comes in an unprecedented step in Saudi Arabia, where princes have been arrested and detained either in their homes or in luxury villas or hotels.
The princess’s family again appealed for her release in the month of Ramadan, but the princess’s public appeal through Twitter tweets may mean that her problems have increased.
Usually, private appeals – not public petitions – are the best and most secure way for the Saudi judicial system.
The Saudi authorities are very sensitive to public criticism, but the public’s appeal comes after she sends private messages urging the king and the crown prince to release her, without receiving an answer during the past year.
“There was no response at all, completely silence,” one of the sources said.