Entertainment Saudi "Game of Thrones": pressures for the release of a prince

12:50  01 june  2020
12:50  01 june  2020 Source:   pressfrom.com

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Prince is a title held by the members of a ruling family, usually the royal family. Its female equivalent is Princess. The title usually includes all of the children of a monarch. If a king is newly crowned, be it through conquest, usurpation, or declaring independence, his children will become princes

The Saudi game of thrones comes at a tumultuous time. The desert kingdom is trapped in a costly and The prince may have his own constituency to back him up. “With a decidedly young population, it M.B.S. has fostered new forms of entertainment for the young, including concerts and talk of a

Photo, non datée et diffusée par un ami, du prince saoudien Salmane ben Abdel Aziz à Dresde, en Allemagne © - Photo, undated and distributed by a friend, of the Saudi prince Salman ben Abdel Aziz in Dresden, Germany

A lobbying contract of two million dollars and petitions from elected Europeans are mounting pressure on Saudi Arabia to free a philanthropic prince imprisoned for two years without charge.

Le prince héritier saoudien Mohammed ben Salmane, le 7 mars 2018 à Londres © Tolga AKMEN Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed ben Salman, March 7, 2018 in London

The arrest of Prince Salman ben Abdel Aziz and his father in January 2018 was part of the campaign of repression led by the Crown Prince Mohammed ben Salman who not only targeted potential rivals but also personalities who did not a priori threaten his power.

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As the fictional Game of Thrones launches its third season a different game of intrigue is unfolding in Saudi Arabia. We ask important questions, who will be the third in line once King Abdullah passes away? As the second generation princes , who have ruled the country for most of its 80 year history

The repression also affected members of the family of Saad Aljabri, the prince's former collaborator. This former senior intelligence official who holds state secrets fled to Canada.

A former student of the Sorbonne in Paris and apparently having no political ambition, Prince Salmane, 37, had the reputation of being a patron of finance for development projects in poor countries.

- Pressure campaign -

"This is an abduction in broad daylight and an enforced disappearance," an associate of the prince told AFP on condition of anonymity.

After being detained for about a year in Al-Hair high security prison, near Ryad, then in a villa with his father Abdel Aziz ben Salmane, the prince was transferred to a secret detention center in March, told AFP several sources who did not wish to be identified.

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The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has scrambled the kingdom's army in response to rumours that members of the royal family are planning to unseat The country's de facto ruler has brushed aside the international pressure , attempting to use the overseas visits to shore up his tarnished reputation

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Photo, non datée et fournie par un ami, du prince saoudien Salmane ben Abdel Aziz (d) avec le maire de Dresde, Dirk Hilbert, en Allemagne © - Photo, undated and provided by a friend, of the Saudi prince Salman ben Abdel Aziz (d) with the mayor of Dresden, Dirk Hilbert, in Germany

He was suddenly brought back to the villa last week to be reunited with his father, according to three of these sources.

His phone calls to his family are being monitored by Saudi intelligence, the same sources said.

But his return could be a sign that international pressure for his release is working.

The Saudi authorities did not respond to a request for comment on the case.

A delegation from the European Parliament asked for the release of the detained royal family members, including Prince Salman, during a visit to Ryad in February, according to a source and an internal report of the tour consulted by AFP.

In addition, the Sonoran Policy Group of Robert Stryk, leading lobbyist in Washington, signed in May a contract of two million dollars to plead in favor of the liberation of the prince before the "governments of the United States, of the United - United Kingdom, France and the European Union ", according to a file from the United States Department of Justice consulted by AFP.

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Usurper is a derogative term that refers an individual who has seized power in opposition to a "legitimate" or "rightful" ruler who was perceived to have a better claim to the title. After ruling less than a year, King Orys I was assassinated by his own brother, who then usurped the throne.

Game of Thrones is an original HBO series based on George R.R. Martin's best-selling novels. In a world where summers span decades and winters can last a lifetime, the crown of Kings and queens, knights and renegades, liars and noble men vie for power in the bloody struggle for the Iron Throne.

Robert Stryk, known for having close ties to the administration of US President Donald Trump, was recruited by Hashim Mughal, a confidant of Prince Salmane based in Paris, according to the file.

A source described Mr. Mughal as a Pakistani, a former financial adviser to the prince who raised two million dollars by drawing in particular on his personal fortune.

The approach is however a risky bet, the leaders of the kingdom being allergic to this kind of pressure.

But since the prince's calls for the release of the prince to the leaders remain unanswered, the campaign may well be the only means of action.

- "Nothing political" -

Other members of the royal family were arrested. In March, it was the brother's turn as well as King Salman's nephew, the princes Ahmed and Mohammed ben Nayef. The latter had been removed from the throne in 2017.

Two adult children and a brother of Saad Aljabri were also arrested in March. A source close to their families called them "victims of a Saudi Game of Thrones".

Mr. Aljabri had previously tried to remove his children from Saudi Arabia but the authorities had prohibited them from traveling, the source told AFP.

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Princess Basma bent Saud, another member of the royal family considered to be close to Prince Mohammed ben Nayef, was imprisoned in Al-Hair for a year without charge with her daughter.

Her family has lost contact with them since a desperate Twitter call for her release in April, the source said.

As for knowing what the Saudi power reproaches Prince Salman, there is no certainty: his detention could be linked to his meeting in 2016 with the American Adam Schiff, elected Democrat in the House of Representatives and fierce criticism of Donald Trump.

The associates of prince Salmane affirm however that "nothing political" was then discussed and the office of Mr. Schiff told AFP that there may have been talk of "Saudi Arabia in general ".

"Imprisoning someone for his meeting with a convinced democrat will only make it more difficult for Trump to maintain close ties with the Saudi royal family before the American elections" in November, thinks for his part Kirsten Fontenrose, of the think tank Atlantic Council.

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