Son of US-Saudi citizen held in Saudi Arabia seeks US help

Combined Shape

WASHINGTON (AP) — The son of a dual U.S.-Saudi citizen who has been detained in Saudi Arabia met Thursday with members of Congress as he seeks help to secure his father’s release.

Ahmed Fitaihi says his father, Walid, has been beaten, electrocuted and subjected to other forms of torture and allowed little contact with his family during 16 months in custody.

Walid Fitaihi was a Boston-area physician before he returned in 2006 to his native Saudi Arabia, where he helped found a hospital built by his family and became a popular motivational speaker on television. In November 2017, Fitaihi was one of about 200 prominent Saudis detained in a mass roundup and held prisoner in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton hotel.

The Saudi government described the mass arrests as a crackdown on corruption; critics, however, decried it as a move to consolidate power by Prince Mohammed bin Salman and claimed the detainees were being tortured.

His family says they have not been told if he is facing any charges.

Trending:
In Just 4 Months, Biden Manages to Highlight How Competent Trump Was Over Previous 4 Years

“I’m sure you can see how confusing it is to see this man, being dragged, and beaten and electrocuted, this doesn’t make any sense at all,” the son said at a news conference in Washington organized by Human Rights Watch. “He’s dedicated his entire life to making people’s lives better.”

Fitaihi spoke alongside a brother of Lujain Alhathloul, a women’s rights activist who has been in custody since May and went on trial this week.

Her brother, Walid al-Hathloul, said she has been subjected to electrocution and threatened with rape. “I am desperate to save my sister’s life,” he said.

The Saudi Embassy said in response that the kingdom prohibits torture and that authorities are investigating the allegations of mistreatment of the prisoners.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia takes any allegations of ill-treatment of defendants awaiting trial or prisoners serving their sentences very seriously,” it said in a statement.

___

This version corrects the sentence in the 5th paragraph by restoring the dropped word ‘not.’

The Western Journal has not reviewed this Associated Press story prior to publication. Therefore, it may contain editorial bias or may in some other way not meet our normal editorial standards. It is provided to our readers as a service from The Western Journal.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →






We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




Conversation