Detained physician puts Trump-Saudi relations back in spotlight

(CNN)The Trump White House’s mysterious and controversial relationship with Saudi Arabia is under fresh scrutiny over the case of a US-Saudi citizen who has reportedly been jailed, beaten and tortured in the kingdom.

Fitaihi was detained in a sweep against prominent Saudi figures orchestrated by the kingdom’s de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in November 2017 and was initially held at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh.
His lawyer said he was then transferred to prison, where he has been held for nearly a year without due process, a period in which his health and emotional state have deteriorated.
    President Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was in Saudi Arabia last week to push his Middle East peace initiative and is close to the Crown Prince. But there has been no public indication that Kushner advocated on behalf of Fitaihi or inquired about the terms of his detention.
    There is already bipartisan anger in Washington over the administration’s response to the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last year.
    CNN has reported that US intelligence agencies have concluded that the killing and dismembering of the journalist was ordered by the Crown Prince, despite the Saudi government’s denials.
    The administration infuriated senators by ignoring a February deadline to provide a report on the murder, and Trump has repeatedly warned that Saudi Arabia’s purchases of US weapons and its role in helping the administration confront Iran are not worth jeopardizing over the episode.

    US-Saudi relations under rare scrutiny

    The fallout of the Khashoggi case and the brutality of the Saudi military intervention in Yemen have provoked rare unity in the Senate, with members of both parties questioning the utility and morality of America’s alliance with a Gulf ally that has been an anchor of Washington’s Middle East policy for decades.
    Despite increasing coverage of the Fitaihi case, there is little sign that the administration is making his detention a high priority or is willing to consider it in the wider context of US-Saudi relations.
    National security adviser John Bolton told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday that “as of this moment, my understanding is we have had what’s called consular access, meaning American diplomats in Saudi Arabia have visited with him.”
    “Beyond that, we don’t really have any additional information at this point.”
    In a statement to CNN on Sunday, the State Department confirmed that Fitaihi is detained in Saudi Arabia and that he was getting consular services.
    “We have raised his case with the Government of Saudi Arabia.” the statement said, and a spokesperson added that the department took “all allegations of abuse and torture extremely seriously.”
    The Saudi government has yet to respond to several requests from CNN for a comment on the case of Fitaihi, who qualified for his US citizenship while studying and practicing medicine in the US and then returned to Saudi Arabia to found a hospital in Jeddah and forge a career as a motivational speaker.
    In a statement to The New York Times, which first reported on the Fitaihi case, a Saudi Embassy spokesman said the kingdom “takes any and all allegations of ill-treatment of defendants awaiting trial or prisoners serving their sentences very seriously.”
    The quiet US handling of Fitaihi’s detention contrasts with the way Trump has dealt with other cases of Americans imprisoned abroad. He has often boasted about getting US detainees home from North Korea, for example.
    He celebrated the release of Aya Hijazi, an Egyptian-American aid worker, by inviting her to the Oval Office after top aides said he had engaged behind the scenes with top leaders in Cairo to win her release.
    The administration made the detention of American pastor Andrew Brunson in Turkey a diplomatic sticking point in the tense relations between the NATO allies. Brunson also earned an Oval Office invite to thank the President.
    Trump frequently claimed credit for the return from North Korea of imprisoned US tourist Otto Warmbier even though he was in a vegetative state and later died.
    Last week, after meeting with Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam, the President said he took at face value the North Korean dictator’s word that he did not know about Warmbier’s ill treatment in prison, earning a rebuke from the dead man’s parents.
    Given the strategic importance of an American prisoner and Kim’s rule of fear, most North Korea analysts and even many of Trump’s GOP allies think the President’s comment lacks credibility.
    The administration has often been selective about pointing out human rights abuses in a way that seems to align with its political priorities.
    It has used the issue as a cudgel against Venezuela and Iran, but soft-pedaled with Saudi Arabia and North Korea.
      The New York Times reported on Saturday that Fitaihi told a friend he had been slapped, stripped, blindfolded and tortured with electricity before he was taken to jail from the Ritz-Carlton.
      In a letter to the State Department in January, Fitaihi’s lawyer Howard Cooper said his client had been able to speak briefly to his mother on the phone. He told her that “he is fear of his life, that he cannot take his situation any longer and that he desires all help possible.”

      Original Article : HERE ; This post was curated & posted using : RealSpecific


      Recommended PRODUCTS
    • This program shows any man or woman how to attract their ex back into their life.
    • This page from the book will show you how to get your ex girlfriend back as fast as possible.
    • How to get your man back and keep him devoted to you for good.
    • In Just 21 Days Without Pain Pills, Cortisone Shots or Physical Therapy
    • Learn an Incredible New Technique to Get Your Ex-Boyfriend Through Hypnosis.
    • How to Get Over Your Breakup and Find Dating Success
    • How to Turn Even the Coldest Woman into a Passion Addict.
    • Get The Secrets To Get Your Ex Back Before They're Gone For Good And Develop A Fulfilling Relationship
    • Discover The Mind-Bending And Powerful Secrets To Getting Back Together With Your Ex
    • Get this guide and start enjoying every meal and every moment of your life.
    • Simple Home Detoxification and Decompression Method Cures Permanently in 7 Days or Less.
    • 6 'Magic' Words Could Be All it Takes to Get Your Ex-Boyfriend to Come Running Back Today
    • Oprah expert shares the very best strategy for getting any girl back
    • Steps to help stop your break up and get your ex back in hours not months.
    • Train your lazy guitar fingers into lightening fast, accurate weapons
    • Discover the common cause of fatigue, low libido, low mood and weight gain
    • Clickbank Ads
       
       


      RELATED PRODUCTS
    • Learn How You Can Stop Your Break Up Or Divorce Even If Your Situation Seems Hopeless
    • Join 56,712 others who've erased back pain and sciatica from their lives.
    • Steps to help stop your break up and get your ex back in hours not months.
    • How to safely reprogram your mind to become wealthy.
    • How to get your man back and keep him devoted to you for good.
    • Oprah expert shares the very best strategy for getting any girl back
    • Discover ways to rebuild the shattered trust even if you feel completely hopeless.
    • A Nearly Foolproof Step-by-step System To Get Her Back In Your Arms Again.
    • Learn How To Prevent Your Back And Joint Pains And Start Enjoying A Pain Free Life Again
    • The only system based on scientific research that will help you get your ex boyfriend back
    • Get this guide and start enjoying every meal and every moment of your life.
    • Get Your Ex Back By Using A Little-Known Manifestation Technique
    • In Just 21 Days Without Pain Pills, Cortisone Shots or Physical Therapy
    • This page from the book will show you how to get your ex girlfriend back as fast as possible.
    • Learn an Incredible New Technique to Get Your Ex-Boyfriend Through Hypnosis.
    • The World's Simplest and Most Effective Way To Eliminate Back Pain Naturally.
    • Clickbank Ads
       

      Thank you for taking the time to read our article.

      If you enjoyed our content, we'd really appreciate some "love" with a share or two.

      And ... Don't forget to have fun!

      Recommended

      CBS Lead App

      Launch your 6 - 7 figure internet business today!

      Viral Image Sharer Pro Upgrade

      Viral Image Sharer PRO Upgrade: Early Adopters Launch Special

      Done-For-You 10 Viral Slideshows Install Service

      Done-For-You 10 Viral Slideshows Install Service

      Leave a Reply