Saudi Arabia tried to lure Sarsal Al-Faisal to its consulate

Image copyright AFP Image caption The daughter of Prince Saud al-Faisal (right) has said Riyadh made moves to lure her to its consulate in Istanbul

The daughter of a former Saudi deputy foreign minister has said the kingdom tried to lure her to its consulate in Istanbul.

The Saudi embassy said the allegation was “a cruel joke” and that Riyadh was looking into the allegations.

Ms al-Faisal, who is a member of Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council, a consultative body, is a royal court aide to King Salman.

Saudi authorities have arrested 11 princes and eight officials in the purge.

The women’s rights activist also claimed that women would be barred from driving in the kingdom.

This is her account of what happened on Tuesday, on the day of the arrests:

I went to the Saudi consulate to have it translated into Turkish. They opened the door and an unnamed young man took me.

I was lying on the bed inside and he asked me why I was with the Saudis. I said “Because I am an official”. He was asking me questions about my relationship with my family and Saudi royals.

He kept asking me what I looked like and I told him I look like my father, Prince Faisal, when he was young. I also told him my name is Badia Abdullah al-Faisal.

He asked me a lot of questions. He started to look tired, after more than one hour, so I asked him why he was there and in case he was fine he asked me to leave.

I told him I was going back to my friend Huda and her mother and he encouraged her to let me go. I told him Huda and her mother were fine.

The Saudi embassy in Ankara says it has received a demand for information from a London-based NGO, which Ms al-Faisal shares.

The Muslim World League, a body that links Islamic governments, issued a statement which said it had “unconditionally” denied her request for travel.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has launched a political, economic and security-driven modernisation programme, and is regularly praised by the US and UK.

But the purges, which he says are a part of his reform process, have alarmed rights groups who say the campaign does not target corruption.

They say Prince Mohammed, who is widely known as MbS, is a critic of his own family.

The grisly arrests came a month after three prominent female activists were arrested, as part of a “purge” sweeping through the royal family, over claims they had taken money or influenced their movements.

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