Saudi princess Basmah bint Saud appeals for release as her health is 'deteriorating'

Saudi Princess Basmah bint Saud who had been jailed without any charges, made a public appeal for her release from a high-security prison to the king and crown prince on Thursday. The fifty-six-year-old business woman was detained last year in March when she was about to travel for medical treatment to Switzerland.

She appealed for the release from her official Twitter account stating that her health was "deteriorating". The tweet, which has now been deleted, read: "As you may be aware I am currently being arbitrarily held at Al-Ha'ir prison without criminal, or otherwise any charges." She claimed that her health was deteriorating to such an extent that it could lead to her death. "I have not received medical care or even a response to the letters I dispatched from jail to the Royal Court," she added.

The reason for her detention has not been disclosed yet by the authorities. The princess claims that she was detained along with one of her daughters without any official explanation by the king. She made a plea to her uncle King Salman and her cousin Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the release claiming that her health was "very critical".

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

How did the princess tweet from high-security prison?

The princess did not mention her specific illness in her letters as the coronavirus pandemic is growing quickly in the region. Saudi Arabia imposed a lockdown in all of its major cities on April 6 as the number of Covid-19 cases was put at 7,142 with 87 deaths.

The Al-Ha'ir prison, known for holding political prisoners that is close to Riyadh, did not provide any clarification on how the princess was able to tweet from such a high-security facility. She also tagged major news publications throughout the world and political leaders like former president Barack Obama, US Senator Kamala Harris and the French president in her tweet. According to the Bangkok Post, a source close to the royal court said that detentions were meant to serve as a severe warning to those who went against the crown prince.