Former Detainees Allege Torture and Coercion in 2017 Saudi Purge

Former Detainees Allege Torture and Coercion in 2017 Saudi Purge


The Guardian on Thursday published interviews with several of the almost 400 people imprisoned at the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton in Saudi Arabia in late 2017.

The hotel was converted into an ostensibly luxurious prison for Saudi officials and businessmen, including powerful members of the royal family, accused of corruption by the nascent government of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). The detainees who spoke to the Guardian said they were tortured and forced to make confessions or sign away their fortunes.

The Guardian conceded it was difficult for MBS’s advisers to make sense of Saudi Arabia’s complex finances, and it was no secret that royals often indulged themselves by putting public money to questionable uses, so there was doubtless plenty of corruption to be found. 

Former detainees accused the authorities of subjecting them to physical and psychological abuse at the Ritz-Carlton:

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The Ritz-Carlton detentions often started with a phone call, summoning

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