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Saudi Royals, Senior Officials Tortured, Beaten in Purge
Saudi Royals, Senior Officials Tortured, Beaten in Purge

Saudi Royals, Senior Officials Tortured, Beaten in Purge

Saudi Royals, Senior Officials Tortured, Beaten in Purge

Some senior figures detained in last Saturday’s purge in Saudi Arabia were beaten and tortured so badly during their arrest or subsequent interrogations that they required hospital treatment, Middle East Eye revealed.
People inside 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 caught up in the sudden wave of arrests orchestrated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, under the banner of an anti-corruption drive.
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.
The purge, which follows an earlier roundup of Muslim clerics, writers, economists and public figures, is creating panic in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, 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.
Many fear the primary purpose of the crackdown is a move by MBS to knock out all rivals both inside and outside the House of Saud before he replaces his 81-year-old father.
On Wednesday night, seven princes were released from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh, where they had been held since Saturday. The top royals have been moved to the king’s palace, sources told MEE.
The crown prince’s cousin, Mohammed bin Nayef, who continues to be under house arrest, has had his assets frozen, the Reuters news agency reported. Sons of Sultan bin Abdulaziz have also been arrested and had their assets frozen.
Prince Bandar and the $56b Al-Yamamah Arms Deal
One of the most famous is Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a former Saudi ambassador to Washington and confidant of former US president George W Bush.
There is no word on his fate, but Saudi authorities said that one of the corruption cases they are looking at is the al-Yamamah arms deal, in which Bandar was involved.
Bandar bought an entire village in the Cotswolds, a picturesque area of central England, and a 2,000-acre sporting estate with part of the proceeds from kickbacks he received in the al-Yamamah arms deal, which netted British manufacturer BAE £43billion ($56.5 billion) in contracts for fighter aircraft.
Also among those arrested is Reem, the daughter of detained billionaire Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, the only woman to be targeted in the latest roundup.
To prevent others from fleeing, MBS has ordered a freeze on private bank accounts. The number of account closures and those banned from travel is many times the number of people who have been arrested, sources in Riyadh told MEE.
The purge against other members of the royal family is unprecedented in the kingdom’s modern history. Family unity, which guaranteed the stability of the state since its foundation, has been shattered.
The last event of this magnitude was the overthrow of King Saud by his brother Prince Faisal in 1964. At one point in that saga, Prince Faisal ordered the National Guard to surround the king’s palace, but the king himself was never vilified.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters on Friday that Saudi Arabia’s recent political purge raises concerns and remains unclear but does not appear to amount to mass arrests, Reuters reported.

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