The 57-year-old Basmah bint Saud disappeared in 2019. Only a year later it was revealed that she was in prison. She is seen as a supporter of women’s rights and was known, among other things, for her criticism of the way women are treated in her conservative homeland.

    Just before her arrest, she had been about to travel abroad to receive medical treatment. Basmah is said to have been told after her arrest that she is suspected of forging a passport.

    Health reasons

    In late April 2020, she pleaded with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a letter to release her on health grounds. “My health continues to deteriorate and it could lead to my death,” she wrote at the time. According to ALQST, she was “deprived of the medical care she needed for a potentially life-threatening condition” in prison and no charges were ever brought against her.

    The princess was held in Al-Ha’ir prison, which is home to many other political prisoners. In a written statement two years ago, her family said her detention was likely due to her being an “outspoken critic of abuses in her native country.”

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