Jailed Saudi princess makes second appeal to King Salman and MBS for 'mercy' during Ramadan

Princess Basmah bint Saud
Princess Basmah bint Saud facebook/Princess Basmah bint Saud

A jailed Saudi princess who went missing over a year ago had earlier this month spoken about her arbitrary arrest and imprisonment in capital Riyadh and pleaded to be released citing her deteriorating health.

Now, the princess has made a second plea to her uncle Saudi King Sheikh Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and her cousin Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman urging them to "find justice in their hearts" during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and release her.

Princess' second appeal

Princess Basmah bint Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud posted a statement containing her second appeal on her official Twitter account in both Arabic and English urging the Saudi leadership to have mercy on her during the Ramadan "month of mercy", on Tuesday, April 28.

"This week, Muslims around the globe begin our holy month of Ramadan, one that most of us shall spend with family, even if much limited owing to the ongoing pandemic," the 55-year-old princess wrote in her appeal.

"I will be spending the month at Ha'ir prison unless my uncle, custodian of the two holy mosques, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, and my cousin, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman al Saud, decide to release me."

The princess also corroborated her earlier claim that she had been "kidnapped" along with one of her daughters and put in the al Ha'ir prison despite there being no charges or ongoing investigation.

She said her health was in a "VERY critical" state and expressed fear that her "continuously deteriorating" health could lead to her death.

Princess Basmah bint Saud urged King Salman and his son, the de facto ruler of the Kingdom Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, "to find in their hearts the sense of justice that ought to be impregnated in any Muslim during Ramadan and beyond."

She appealed to them to release "their relative held arbitrarily in the worst conditions possible, in spite [of] her service for the kingdom".

The incarcerated princess also clarified that her first appeal which she made about two weeks ago at the beginning of this month had been deleted for a "breach of the account." She also confirmed that all her posts from now on would be published by her media office.

In her previous appeal, the princess had explained in a series of tweets how she had been held captive at the al Ha'ir prison in Riyadh and that her health was deteriorating severely.

Who is Princess Basmah?

Princess Basmah bint Saud is the youngest child of the late former Saudi King Saud bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, the second monarch of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and granddaughter of the Kingdom's founder Ibn Saud, the first king of Saudi Arabia.

The 55-year-old princess has been seen as an outspoken member of the Saudi royal family and has been outspoken in her appeal in the past calling for the kingdom to adopt a constitutional monarchy, which attracted her a lot of opposition from the Saudi leadership. The princess has also been a critic of the Mitawa or the kingdom's religious police and has often talked about the rights of women in the kingdom and other humanitarian issues.

She was last seen by the media in January 2018 during in an interview with BBC Arabia where she urged the kingdom to end its military intervention in the impoverished Arab state of Yemen. News of her arrest emerged just weeks after a number of Saudi princes and princesses were detained as part of a mass purge believed to have been carried out by the kingdom's Crown Prince and defacto ruler Mohammed bin Salman.

Several relatives of a number of Saudi political prisoners have urged the king and crown prince to release their loved ones during the merciful month of Ramadan, fearing the COVID-19 virus, which has so far infected more than 21,000 people and killed more than 155, may spread in the detention centers.