Jailed for 3 Years Without Charges, Saudi Princess Who Insidiously Defends Women's Rights Is Now Free


After being held for three years in prison, a Saudi Arabian princess is finally released from prison and can breathe fresh air. Previously, he was behind bars without charge with his son in the capital Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

The daughter is Princess Basmah Bint Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (57). Princess Basmah is the youngest child of King Saud and Jamila bint Asab Ibrahim Marei and is a core member of the royal family. He is also the nephew of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. So he is a cousin to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS).

Chronology of Princess Basmah Sent to Prison

The news of Putri Basmah's release was conveyed by the Human Rights (HAM) group on Saturday (8/1) local time, as reported by the AFP news agency. He was released from Al Ha'ir prison with his daughter, Sohoud A Sharif.

"The daughter (Basmah bint Saud) and daughter Suhoud have been released. She is denied the medical treatment she needs for a potentially life-threatening condition. During her detention, no charges were leveled against her," human rights group ALQST reported on Twitter, as quoted from detikNews.

Previously, at the end of February 2019, Putri Basmah was arrested when she was about to travel to Switzerland for medical treatment. At that time, a close relative said that Putri Basmah was accused of trying to falsify her passport.

However, Princess Basmah's arrest was allegedly because she was aggressively criticizing the Saudi Arabian government. Not only Putri Basmah, the police are also known to have arrested activist Manal al-Sharif.

Princess Basmah's legal adviser Henri Estramant said Princess Basmah and Manal al-Sharif were accused of an unspecified "criminal offence". Eventually, they were both thrown into prison but were never formally charged with any crime.

Had Requested to be Released for Health Reasons

While being held in prison, Putri Basmah apparently pleaded with King Salman and MBS to be released for health reasons and she 'did nothing wrong'. It is known that Putri Basmah suffers from several diseases, such as heart disease, osteoporosis, and severe digestive problems.

In 2020, he submitted the request through a letter that was distributed through his personal Twitter account.

"Do you realize (?) I am now being arbitrarily detained in Al-Ha'ir prison without any criminal charges or charges," Putri Basmah wrote in her letter, as quoted from detikNews.

"My health is deteriorating to this point (severe) and it may lead to my death," he said. "I haven't received any medical treatment or even received a response to the letters I sent from prison to the Royal Court," he added.

Putri Basmah Profile: Businesswomen to Women Activists

Besides being known as a businessman and writer, Putri Basmah is known as an active figure in the world of activism and women's rights. She has been vocal in protesting and criticizing the Kingdom's policies towards women in Saudi Arabia.

Launching from CNN Indonesia, Putri Basmah is known for occasionally expressing her opinion about Saudi Arabia to the media. This was rarely done by nobles, especially women.

He is known to have criticized the kingdom's legal system, which is based on Sharia law. Putri Basmah also called for the state to adopt a constitution that protects the rights of citizens.

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