Saudi Arabia calls the killing of journalist and politician Jamal Khashoggi at the consulate in Istanbul a serious mistake. King Salman ibn Abdul-Aziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman even expressed condolences.
Khashoggi’s friends in Istanbul told the BBC that a few months before he disappeared, he began to feel the close attention of the Saudi authorities.
In recent years, many foreign critics of Riyadh have disappeared without a trace.
Last year, the BBC Arab Service investigated for several months allegations against Saudi Arabia of kidnapping three dissident princes who lived abroad.
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One of the heroes of the BBC documentary was Khaled bin Farhan, a Saudi prince who criticized the royal family. He sought refuge in Germany.
“We, the princes of the royal family, were four in Europe. Three were kidnapped. Only I was left,” he says.
The fate of all three missing princes – Sultan bin Turki, Bandar bin Turki and Saud bin Saif al-Nasr – is still unknown. Saudi Arabia refuses to comment on this.
Bandar bin Turki was a key figure in the Saudi police and was responsible for protecting the royal family. After a conflict with relatives because of the inheritance in 2012, he went to prison, and when he came out, he flew to Paris.
Prince Turki bin Bandar met with Pakistani finance minister in 2003
From there he began to publish a video calling for reforms in Saudi Arabia.
The kingdom authorities tried to convince him to return. Once Turki bin Bandar called the Deputy Minister of the Interior of the Kingdom of Ahmed Al-Salem.
The runaway prince recorded the conversation and put it on the net. On the record, the official promises Turks security several times if he returns.
The prince continued to publish his videos until July 2015. And after some time disappeared.
According to his friend, the blogger Wael al-Khalaf, one of the top officers in Saudi Arabia reported that the Turks are with them.
One Moroccan newspaper wrote that the prince was about to return to France after a visit to Morocco, but he was allegedly arrested and extradited to Saudi Arabia upon request. Since then, nothing has been heard about him.
Prince Sultan bin Turki, who stayed in Europe after treatment and criticized the Saudi government in an interview, was abducted twice.
The first time he was taken out of Switzerland in 2003, when he came to the palace of his uncle, the late King Fahd bin Abdulaziz al-Saud.
Sultan was invited by his cousin, Prince Abdulaziz bin Fahd, and at breakfast he persuaded him to return to his homeland. After Sultan refused, Abdulaziz went out and a group of masked men burst into the room. They beat the prince, injected him with sleeping pills, drove to Geneva airport and put him in a private plane that took him to Saudi Arabia.
After several years of prison and house arrest in 2010, the Sultan Bin Turki was allowed to return for medical treatment, this time to Boston.
From there, the prince began to sue his relatives, filed a complaint with the Swiss court, including against his cousin Abdulaziz. According to lawyer Sultan, Clyde Bergstresser, the Swiss authorities did not show much interest in the case. But it is from court documents that we know the details of the first abduction.
In January 2016, Sultan decided to fly to his father in Cairo. Despite the difficult history of relations with Riyadh, the prince agreed to go on a journey with his retinue of 18 people on an airplane that was offered to him by the consulate of Saudi Arabia.
Instead of Cairo, the plane flew to Riyadh. According to the stories of people on board from the Sultan retinue, when they landed, they were ordered not to get up from their seats.
“We looked out of the window and saw armed people surrounding the plane.”
The soldiers dragged the prince from the salon, he shouted and asked to contact the US embassy. Since then, there has been no news about him.
Medics and bodyguards of the Sultan were taken to the villa and taken under guard, where they were kept for three days without passports and telephones. Then they apologized “for the inconvenience” and were allowed to leave the country.
Third Prince Rebel.
At about the same time as the Prince of Turks, another member of the royal family, Saud bin Saif al-Nasr, disappeared. He lived in Italy. In 2014 he began to criticize the monarchy on Twitter. Saud called for accountability for Saudi officials who supported the overthrow of the then Egyptian Islamist president Mohammed Mursi. In 2015, Saud publicly supported the anonymous letters of another prince about the overthrow of King Salman. In September, he wrote: “I urge to turn the content of these letters into a wave of popular pressure “. It was his last tweet. According to the version of the last of the remaining princesses in Europe, Khaled bin Farhan, Saud was lured into business negotiations with a certain Russian-Italian investor, and he went from Milan to Rome. “A private plane flew in from this company and took Saud. But the plane landed not in Rome, but in Riyadh. Saudi intelligence planned the whole operation, ”Khaled said. Prince Khaled Image caption Khaled bin Farhan, the only Saudi dissident prince remaining in Europe dictator more and more arrests. “” They jailed 99% of those who, they thought, could begin to criticize. The persecution of foreign dissidents intensified. “Now and journalists? Last year, Jamal Hashoggi left the Saudi Arabia for voluntary a link. He arrived in Istanbul and was preparing for the wedding with his Turkish bride. Director Iyad al-Haji shot a film about Hashoggi before his abduction. According to el-Hadji, Khashoggi repeated several times in an interview that he was loyal to the king and crown prince of Saudi Arabia. “But he also said – literally – that Riyadh treats him as if he is preparing to kill the king.” Khashoggi wrote for the Washington Post about the wave of arrests of other princes arranged by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “All he wanted was a little more international pressure on bin Salman to stop doing what he was doing.” On the day before his disappearance, Khashoggi posted a photo of Twitter by economist Essam Al- Zamilya, who was arrested a year ago. Friends of Khashoggi say that he took this arrest very emotionally and said that the repression had become intolerable. The last post of a journalist in the Washington Post, published after his murder, was about freedom of speech in the Arab world. Khashoggi paid the highest price for this freedom.