24 Mar 2014

New footage emerges of ‘trapped’ Saudi princesses

Special Correspondent and Presenter

Channel 4 News obtains new footage from inside the royal compound in Jeddah where four Saudi princesses say they are being held against their will by their father, the king.

The footage comes after Channel 4 News first broadcast claims by their mother, Princess Alanoud Al Fayez, who says her four daughters – Princesses Sahar, Hala, Maha and Jawaher, have been subject to years of abuse and are effectively held under house arrest.

Now Princesses Sahar and Jawaher say they have filmed their living conditions for us to show how they are trapped. They sent this footage to me saying they are now being “prevented from leaving the house to buy food, water and medicine.”

Princess Jawaher is seen filming the gate, showing us it is locked and preventing them from leaving. We have been unable to independently verify this footage.

‘Grave violations’

Meanwhile here in London, their mother held a protest outside the Saudi embassy. She told me she is desperate for action and will do “anything to save my daughters, anything.” Princess Alanoud has written an open letter to President Obama, who is due to visit the king in Riyadh later this week.

In the letter she says: “Mr Obama has two lovely daughters Maliya and Sasha whom he clearly cares for and loves very much. Can the president imagine a scenario where his two daughters are suffering?”

“If he cannot imagine it, then he cannot ignore King Abdullah’s excuses in meeting his obligations towards his own daughters. It is time to face Saudi Arabia with its own responsibilities, pressure it and put a stop to its human rights violations.

“Mr Obama should take this opportunity to address these grave violations committed against my daughters.”

Tonight the Saudi embassy in London responded by saying “this is a private matter”.