It’s a well-documented that Saudi Arabia does not treat its women well.
The ultra-conservative Islamic Gulf Kingdom is known – or rather notorious – for its unreasonable restrictions on women to drive cars, ride bicycles or to travel abroad without their husbands and/or unmarriageable male kin.
However, the news of royalty being treated the same way came as a shock this week when a British broadcaster reported that four Saudi princesses have been locked up in a palace compound in Jeddah for nearly 13 years.
Alanoud Al Fayez, a former wife of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, contacted Channel 4, revealing that her daughters named Sahar, Maha, Hala and Jawaher have were taken captive by the monarchs for advocating women's rights in the country.
In addition to the news report, Al Fayez, Sahar and Jawaher took to Twitter to highlight the issue. One of them also posted an image of the unidentified location where the women are held.
A glimpse of our so-called 'gilded cage', a stereotypical word, portraying fantasy world. We live amidst ruins. pic.twitter.com/0UCagKZThv— Sahar سحر (@Art_Moqawama) March 9, 2014
To those racist sectarian enslaved minds who think bullying us into silence about human rights abuses,THINK AGAIN>— Jawaher جواهر (@Jawaher1776) March 11, 2014
Al Fayez, currently based in London, has reportedly sought the help of a United Nations special human rights rapporteur.
"They are really in a terrible state, especially Jawaher and Sahar. They are hanging to life. They don't deserve what happened to them,” she told Channel 4.
A similar case emerged last year when Prince Khalid Bin Farhan al-Saud announced his defection from the royal family.
In a statement made public by an Iranian news channel, al-Saud revealed his “suffering” under rule of the Saudi monarchy and urged other princes to break their silence as well.