Bin Talal not allowed leave Saudi Arabia after release

Bin Talal not allowed leave Saudi Arabia after release

As CBS News correspondent Holly Williams reported in December, freedom of speech doesn't exist in Saudi Arabia, and criticizing Crown Prince Mohammed, or any other senior royal figure, would be unsafe.

In the early days of the crackdown, at least 17 detainees were hospitalized due to physical abuse and one later died in custody with neck injuries and other signs of abuse, according to a person who saw the body. Even wives and children have been forbidden to travel.

Saudi Arabia is to establish specialised anti-corruption units to investigate embezzlement in the kingdom following the recent controversial crackdown that recouped more than US$1bn recouped from detained businessmen and politicians.

Most of those detained were released after several months.

The state has also reportedly taken "large sums" and real estate from Mohammed al-Tobaishi, former head of royal court protocol; Fawaz Alhokair, a businessman; Khalid al-Tuwaijery, former chief of the royal court; Adel Fakieh, former economic minister; and Dabbagh, a businessman who once oversaw the country's foreign investment authority.

According to the New York Times, some of the powerful detainees may have suffered abuse at the hands of their captors as they were coerced into agreements to hand over billions of dollars to the Saudi government in return for their freedom.

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The report also said that more than a dozen of the prisoners were abused while they were being held, and that numerous assets of the 381 princes, ministers and tycoons have yet to be seized.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is "pleasant, open-minded, cultured and visionary", Coptic Pope Tawadros II said in a Monday statement.

The former detainees were quoted by the newspaper as saying that numerous released are being forced to wear tracking devices on their ankles.

"A doctor and two other people briefed on the condition of the body said that it had burn marks that appeared to be from electric shocks", the newspaper said.

But he was a top aide to Prince Turki bin Abdullah, a son of the late King Abdullah and a former governor of Riyadh, and the interrogators may have been pressing the general for information about his boss, Prince Turki.

The kingdom has never publicly provided an explanation of the general's death.

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