We are cut off, isolated and aloneImprisoned Saudi princesses blame their father King Abdullah as their mother calls on Obama to help free them
- Alanoud AlFayez, 57, appealed to Obama on Thursday as he prepares to visit Saudi Arabia and King Abdullah
- AlFayez was once married to the king but fled to London after he divorced her in 2003
- The women and their mother say they’re being starved and physically and psychologically abused
By JOSHUA GARDNER and DANIEL MILLER
Two Saudi Princesses who claim to have been imprisoned by their father for 13 years have told how they are ‘cut off, isolated and alone’ after their mother called on President Obama to help set them free.
Princesses Sahar, 42, and Jawaher, 38, whose mother is divorced from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, say they are effectively being held under house arrest in the royal compound in Jeddah.
They claim they are not allowed to travel or even leave their home and that the internet is their only window onto the world.
Prisoners: Princesses Sahar and Jawaher said they are, in effect, being held under house arrest in the royal compound in Jeddah
In an exclusive interview with Channel 4 News, the princesses told how security has been tightened since they went public with their story two weeks ago and they are no longer even allowed to make trips with armed guards for food, as they had been previously.
Speaking to Channel 4 via Skype, they blamed the King for their situation and even claimed to be running out of food.
Princess Sahar says: ‘This is a risk we’re taking, we’re happy to do it, we understand full well the repercussions, but we don’t know what’s going to happen.’
The Princesses say their sisters Maha and Hala are also being held in the Royal compound in separate villas.
Campaign: The women’s mother wanted Obama to raise her daughters’ plight during his visit to the King, above
It follows a plea from their mother Alanoud AlFayez, 57, to Obama for help freeing her four adult daughters she says have been held in a Saudi royal palace against their will for over a decade.
‘Mr Obama should take this opportunity to address these grave violations committed against my daughters,’ said AlFayez.
AlFayez, who has lived in London since Abdullah divorced her in 2003, said her ex-husband’s treatment of their daughters has worsened lately after 13 years in confinement.
She told AFP that their already rare trips outside to buy food and medicine for themselves and their pets have now stopped.
‘Since 13 years, my daughters Sahar, Maha, Hala and Jawaher are being held captive,’ AlFayez said. ‘They need to be saved and released immediately.’
AlFayez has written to the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to say that her daughters are ‘imprisoned, held against their will, cut off from the world’.
Separated: Al Fayez fled to London and her daughters are being kept isolated from each other in the palace
Fall from grace: The King’s ex-wife Al Fayez with their four children who, as adults, say they are being held hostage
Red carpet: President Obama is greeted after arriving in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia aboard Air Force One
President Obama talks to Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud after arriving at Rawdat Khurayim, the monarch’s desert camp 60 miles northeast of Riyadh
President Obama, accompanied by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, are greeted upon their arrival at Rawdat al-Khraim Desert Camp for the meeting with the Saudi king
Obama paid a visit to Saudi King Abdullah’s desert oasis at the end of a weeklong, four-country trip.
The aging monarch has been nervously watching Washington’s negotiations with Iran and other U.S. policy developments in the Middle East. .