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Home / World / Saudi Arabia reportedly tortured US citizen: NYT | USA News

Saudi Arabia reportedly tortured US citizen: NYT | USA News



An American citizen was allegedly tortured while in custody in Saudi Arabia, according to a report by US newspaper, The New York Times (NYT).

Walid Fitaihi described being dragged from his room to Riyadh's Ritz Carlton hotel, where he was being detained, then told a friend what the "blindfolded, stripped of his underwear and bound to a chair," the report said.

The Harvard-trained doctor has now reportedly shocked with electricity in "What has happened to a single session of torture that lasted about an hour," the paper reports.

his back for days.

Mass arrests

Dr Fitaihi, who holds dual American-Saudi citizenship, representing one of several hundred prominent Saudis rounded up in mass arrests in November 201

7 in an anti-corruption crackdown ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS ).

As with many others, the charges against Dr Fitaihi have not been published and there has been no known trial. He remains in detention.

Dr Fitaihi's American citizenship could further complicate relations between Saudi Arabia and the US

A number of those who were caught up in the round-up of alleged torture including electric shocks

In December, the US Senate voted unanimously on a non-binding resolution that blamed the Saudi crown prince for the brutal murder of a prominent Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi was murdered on October 2 in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. US intelligence agencies reportedly ordered the murder, allegation the kingdom denies.

A group of US Senators introduced a law on Tuesday that would require the US Director of National Intelligence to submit a public report on the assassination.

Khashoggi had protested Fitaihi's detention in Saudi Arabia in a tweet in January, 2018.

"What has happened to us?" Khashoggi wrote in Arabic. "How can someone like Dr Walid Fitaihi be arrested and what are the justifications for it?"

The NYT report says Dr. Fitaihi's American friends are "stepping up to a Washington campaign to take his case".

US President Donald Trump has defended MBS in the wake of the Khashoggi murder and continued relations with the kingdom.

On Tuesday, senior White House adviser and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner met MBS for the first time since Khashoggi's murder.

Trump distanced himself from the Khashoggi murder in part, he said, because the journalist was not a US citizen.

End of anti-corruption campaign

MBS has defended the 2017 anti-corruption campaign as "shock therapy" to overhaul the Saudi economy.

When the campaign ended in January a royal court said authorities

It said 87 people confessed to the charges against and found settlements that included the forfeiture of real estate, companies, cash and other assets

The public prosecutor refused to settle the cases of 56 people due to existing criminal charges against them.


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