Posted on 14th January 2022
Grant Liberty Secures Release of Saudi Princess
Princess Basmah and her daughter Suhoud al-Sharif were released from detention in Saudi Arabia on 6th January 2022. After 1,042 days of arbitrary detention, both women finally walked free, their innocence vindicated. Grant Liberty has worked tirelessly with family members for this day and will continue to do so. We thank the Saudi Government for doing the right thing.
Grant Liberty began campaigning in April 2021, lobbying politicians including the foreign secretary Dominic Raab and the Commonwealth general secretary Patricia Scotland.
Working with counsel from Doughty Street Chambers, Grant Liberty made urgent submissions to United Nations experts on 5th July 2021, urging them to take action, given the imminent risk to life and serious concerns for the Princess Basmah and her daughter’s mental well-being. A petition was filed with the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on 15th October 2021, by Legal Officer for Grant Liberty, Rhianna Dorrian.
Rhianna Dorrian, Legal Officer for Grant Liberty, stated:
“Saudi Arabia’s detention of Princess Basmah and her daughter is an affront to international law. Saudi Arabia had no legal justification for detaining these women, either domestically or internationally, rendering their detention arbitrary. This injustice cost this mother and daughter nearly three years of their lives and is a stark reminder of what can happen when human rights are not respected.”
Lucy Rae, PR Director for Grant Liberty, said:
“Today justice has won and Princess Basmah and her daughter have won their freedom after years of arbitrary detention. On the 15th October 2021, our legal officer Rhianna Dorrian submitted a petition to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and we are thrilled with the result. We thank the Saudi Government for doing the right thing and hope that today marks a step in the right direction and that Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman will release the remaining 214 prisoners of conscience who remain behind bars today.”
Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, Doughty Street Chambers, stated:
“Princess Basmah and Suhoud have been subjected to a terrifying ordeal since March 2019: enforced disappearance, incommunicado detention, denied their most basic rights under international law and held in circumstances presenting a serious risk to life. It is welcome news that the Saudi authorities have finally released these two brave women, but now there should be accountability for their detention and the gross abuses of their human rights over the past 34 months.”
At Grant Liberty we continue to represent Princess Basmah’s personal and legal interests.
Notes for Editors
- Legal submissions were made to a number of United Nations experts in this case: the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances, Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Special Rapporteur on Torture, Special Rapporteur on Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions and Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health.
- Counsel from Doughty Street Chambers instructed by Grant Liberty in this matter were Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC and Tatyana Eatwell. They were instructed by Lucy Rae, Grant Liberty.
- For more information contact Rhianna Dorrian on firstname.lastname@example.org
- For interview requests contact Lucy Rae at email@example.com or +447984191819
- Grant Liberty is a London-based non-profit organisation which aims to stand and fight for human rights worldwide without fear or favour. From the despicable abuse of prisoners of conscience in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, to the brutal treatment of migrant workers in Qatar and the UAE, and the atrocities being carried out against the Uyghur people in North West China, Grant Liberty will campaign against human rights abuses wherever we see them. Grant Liberty is the official advocacy wing of Forgotten Women, a global voice for those who have been silenced. We believe that rights and freedom anywhere in the world is an integral part of the global struggle for human dignity. We aim to address human rights violations from the emboldened individuals to governments.