Pressure Mounts on Trump After Reports on Torture of US-Saudi Citizen in Saudi Arabia

Published March 5th, 2019 - 01:44 GMT
Dr Walid Fitaihi (Twitter)
Dr Walid Fitaihi (Twitter)

Latest reports on Saudi Arabia’s torture of the Saudi-American citizen Walid Fitaihi have further shed lights on the diplomatic relation between Saudi Arabia and the US.

On Saturday, the New York Times has reported the dual citizen, Walid Fitaihi, has been held and tortured by Saudi Arabia.

The Harvard-trained doctor was one of several hundred Saudis who were taken into custody in November 2017  in mass anti-corruption arrests and was ordered by the de-facto power, the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, aka MBS.

According to the report, Fitaihi has described to a friend being dragged from his room in Riyadh Ritz Carlton hotel, where the detainees were held. According to Fitaihi, he was blindfolded, stripped of his underwear and bound to a chair where he was shocked with electricity.

A few hours after the NYT report, a Twitter account that documents the news of detainees in Saudi prisons tweeted that Dr. Walid Fitaihi was admitted to hospital as a result of a deterioration in his health and psychological condition.

In response to the NYT report, Saudi officials denied any mistreatment of detainees. A spokesman for the Saudi Embassy in Washington said the kingdom has signed the convention against torture and prohibits its use.

Since October 2018 and after the Saudi Washington Post journalist was brutally murdered in his country’s consulate in Istanbul, the US-Saudi relations have been getting more complicated; between calls from US lawmakers to take a stance from Saudi Arabia and on the other hand, the US administration persisting any risks that might harm their interests with Saudi Arabia.

As Fitaihi is still in detention and has not been put on trial or has charges disclosed against him, many critical voices have been calling the US administration to take an action against the Saudi government to stop the human rights violations being carried out in the Kingdom and release their citizen.

Would US Donald Trump consider Walid Fitaihi as his citizen and actually put “America First”?


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