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US Congressmen call for Saudi to release detained dual citizen

Published: March 9, 2019
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Senior US Congressmen have called for the Saudi Arabian authorities to release dual citizen Walid Fitaihi, who has been detained and tortured in Saudi prisons.

In a joint statement issued on Thursday by the House Foreign Affairs Committee, lead Republican Michael McCaul and Chairman Eliot Engel said that Fitaihi must be released. “We are deeply concerned by reports that Dr Walid Fitaihi, a dual US-Saudi citizen in Saudi custody, has been tortured,” the statement read.

They added: “Allegations like this are stunning and the reported lack of due process [in Saudi Arabia] is completely unacceptable. Torture and coercion of all prisoners must end.”

Concluding their statement, the Congressmen said: “We call on Saudi Arabia to immediately release Dr Fitaihi and allow him to travel outside Saudi Arabia.”

Fitaihi, who holds a US passport, graduated from Harvard University and has been detained in Saudi Arabia since November 2017 without trial. This week’s statement was issued in the wake of a report published by the New York Times stating that Fitaihi was tortured inside Saudi jails.

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An American citizen was allegedly tortured while in custody in Saudi Arabia, according to a report by the New York Times. Walid Fitaihi described being dragged from his room in Riyadh's Ritz Carlton hotel, where he was being detained, then told a friend he was "blindfolded, stripped of his underwear and bound to a chair," the report said.

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