In a statement made public by a Tehran-based news channel, Khalid Bin Farhan al-Saud referred to his “suffering” under rule of the Saudi royal family and urged other princes to break their silence as well.
Turns out, the reports were quite correct. In his first exclusive interview after his defection with Russia Today, Khalid Bin Farhan al-Saud told how the Saudi monarchy has increased crackdown on its own dissenters while it’s trying to support the ones in Syria.
Following is an excerpt from his interview:
“There is no independent judiciary, as both police and the prosecutor’s office are accountable to the Interior Ministry. This ministry’s officials investigate ‘crimes’ (they call them crimes), related to freedom of speech. So they fabricate evidence, don’t allow people to have attorneys”, the prince told RT Arabic.
“Even if a court rules to release such a ‘criminal’, the Ministry of Interior keeps him in prison, even though there is a court order to release him. There have even been killings! Killings! And as for the external opposition, Saudi intelligence forces find these people abroad! There is no safety inside or outside the country.”
Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on dissidents, including a highly publicized case involving Raif Badawi, is garnering global condemnation. According to a human rights monitoring and advocacy group in Saudi Arabia, several rights activists have been sentenced to jail for being ‘outspoken’ or allegedly inciting religious hatred. Human Rights Watch cites Saudi Arabia has stepped up arrests and trials of peaceful dissidents, and responded with force to demonstrations by citizens.