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After 21 months in detention, Saudi Arabia temporarily releases US citizen ahead of trial Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

After 21 months in detention, Saudi Arabia temporarily releases US citizen ahead of trial

Reports have emerged that the doctor was tortured in Riyadh by Saudi interrogators [Twitter]

Date of publication: 2 August, 2019

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Saudi authorities have released a US-Saudi dual citizen after he was held for 21 months of detention and reportedly tortured.

Saudi authorities have released a US-Saudi dual citizen after he was held for 21 months of detention and reportedly tortured.

Saudi rights group Prisoners of Conscience announced the release of doctor and academic Walid Fitaihi on Thursday.

Saudi officials and associates of Fitaihi have confirmed the reports to US media.

A Saudi official told The Washington Post that he has been released temporarily ahead of his trial on allegations of funding terrorism.

Fitaihi was detained by Saudi authorities during crown prince and de-facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman's so-called "corruption probe" in November 2017.

Reports have emerged that the doctor was tortured in Riyadh by Saudi interrogators.

Fitaihi, who received undergraduate and medical degrees from George Washington University and a master's in public health from Harvard, founded a private hospital in Jeddah after his return from the United States around 2006.

About 200 prominent Saudi figures were held in the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh, where they were reportedly tortured.

Many of the detained were released after striking financial settlements.

Critics say the crackdown was also a way of consolidating Prince Mohammed's grip on power.

Among the detainees was billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who struck a financial settlement to secure his release.

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