SHAFAQNA (Shia News Association) — Saudi Princess Sara bint Talal bin Abdul Aziz is seeking political asylum in Britain, alleging physical and mental abuse at the hands of Saudi authorities.
“I’ve been physically abused. I’ve been mentally abused. My assets have been frozen,” she said in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph at a secret location in London.
She said that she was assaulted outside the Saudi embassy in London by an official, who tried to grab her arm.
“I am very scared right now,” said the princess. “They know I can’t go back now. There is a threat. That’s a slap in the face of the Kingdom.”
The embassy has turned down the princess’ extended stay request in coordination with British authorities.
On Friday, her lawyers notified the Home Office of her intention to seek asylum.
Her allegations must be assessed by UK officials so the 38-year-old can be offered a safe haven, in spite of Saudi authorities’ insistence on her return.
The princess went to the UK in 2007 after she fell out with her 80-year-old father Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.
She also claimed that she has been subjected “to a litany of serious crimes, including threats, assault, an attempted kidnapping, and the attempted abduction of my children.”
The motives are political, she argued.
“I am a threat because I am a reformer from within. My way is the modern Islamic way,” she told the paper.
The political asylum request, which came weeks after the death of her uncle and main supporter Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, who was an opponent of her father, offers an insight into the tensions within the Saudi royal family.
Political analysts have predicted that the kingdom will experience instability in the near future as the poor health among the aging royal family augments the power vacuum amid a wave of protests over the persisting brutal crackdown on the Saudi people. — www.shafaqna.com/english/