Detained Saudi royal suffers heart attack: sources close to family

Detained Saudi royal suffers heart attack: sources close to family
In 2018 Mohammad bin Salman led a crackdown on critics and rivals within the ruling family, with many being detained at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh.
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The two royals are now under house detention in Riyadh [Getty]

A detained Saudi royal who was swept up in a 2018 crackdown recently suffered a heart attack while under house arrest in Riyadh, sources close to the family said on Tuesday.

Abdulaziz Al Saud and his son Salman have been held for six years without formal charges since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman led a clampdown on critics and rivals from within the ruling family six years ago.

On Friday, Prince Abdulaziz was taken to hospital with a heart attack, said a source close to the family who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal.

He returned to his residence in the capital three days later where he continues to be kept under house arrest alongside his son, said the same source.

"We feel very worried about his state of health," the source said.

"He doesn't have medical assistance inside the house," the source added, blaming the prince's deteriorating health on his continued detention.

Another source close to the family confirmed the heart attack, saying Prince Abdulaziz was transferred home "for better rest and care".

The case of Prince Abdulaziz and his son has triggered international lobbying efforts for their release, including from European lawmakers and the United Nations.

In 2021, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention accused Saudi authorities of "arbitrarily" detaining the two members of the royal family.

"The two men appear to have been targeted for being who they are and for their membership of the royal family," the UN group said.

Prince Salman, educated at Paris's Sorbonne University, is a minor royal who posed no apparent challenge to the crown prince.

Observers say the royal court may have been irked by Prince Salman's meeting with Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff just before the US elections in 2016.

Schiff is a critic of US President Donald Trump, who is a staunch backer of Prince Mohammed.

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