UK lawmakers question Saudi regime over mysterious case of missing princes and dissenters
UK and European lawmakers questioned Saudi Arabia over unlawful detention of many Saudi princes, especially Mohammed bin Nayef was taken into custody in 2017 on the orders of Saudi Prince, as part of Saudi Prince, Mohammed bin Salman’s crackdown on the kingdom’s political dissenters and crown challengers in the name of anti-corruption drive.
The investigators panel, set by UK’s MPs, reported that the he is “suffering from pains in his joints, particularly his knees, making it difficult for him to walk comfortably without assistance, and there is evidence of damage to his feet, adding to the pain in walking”, The panel added that there has been evidence that Mohammed bin Nayef “has not been able to contest his detention before an independent and impartial judge, has no access to a lawyer to discuss his situation and his case has not been reviewed to determine whether it is appropriate to continue his detention”. The authorities haven’t permitted him not been to see either his family or his doctor.
British lawmakers claimed that it was in the interest of both the Saudi Kingdom and the international community to addresses the issue ofGulf nation’s human rights record giving it an opportunity to “defend and explain its actions in a way that will not leave it wholly pilloried in the wider court of global public opinion”. Unfortunately the regime has not been showing any sign of cooperation.
With regard to Riyadh’s misuse of power, British MPs also suggested that any the nation should think before allowing the Gulf nation to use Interpol in relation to gather information about its own citizens living abroad. The panel recommended that the Kingdom’s request for Interpol’s assistance “should be examined with pre-emptive scepticism until it has ratified the basic legal instruments of international human rights and the pattern of oppressive behaviour towards its own citizens has ceased”.
The regime which claims to be moving towards mild liberalisations and diversification of economy, has been conducting multiple detentions and silent executions creating an atmosphere of fear. This has been part of Saudi Prince endeavours to tighten his grip on power and eliminate any potential threat in his accession to the throne. Global criticism started building up after the regime even detained senior princes including Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, a 77-year old brother of King Salman, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the former crown Prince and interior minister. He is said to the under house arrest since the political take over by MBS in 2017.
The rogue operations of Saudi Prince MBS, who is also de-facto ruler of the kingdom, has pushed many rights groups and international organisations including UN and European Union to question the regime’s unfair detention. In August two rights groups, the Geneva-based MENA Rights Group and the London-based ALQST – filed a complaint to the UN over the same.In March, as part of its anti-corruption drive the regime detained about 300 princes and businesses in Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh. They were latter freed only on the condition that the detainees would transfer their assets and money to state.
One of the Saudi analyst said that two of the main objectives behind the extensive detention campaign were to not only kill any possible dissenting voice, but also to pump in much needed cash in Saudi economy as the biggest oil producing country has been facing major economic crunch with a dip of around 30 percent since January, due to the onslaught of coronavirus pandemic.