An American citizen was allegedly tortured while in custody in Saudi Arabia, according to a report by US newspaper, The New York Times (NYT).
Walid Fitaihi described being dragged from his room in Riyadh’s Ritz Carlton hotel, where he was being detained, then told a friend he was “blindfolded, stripped of his underwear and bound to a chair,” the report said.
The Harvard-trained doctor was then reportedly shocked with electricity in “what appears to have been a single session of torture that lasted about an hour,” the paper reported.
It also said he was whipped so severely he could not sleep on his back for days.
As with many others, the charges against Dr Fitaihi have not been disclosed and there has been no known trial. He remains in detention.
A number of those who were caught up in the round-up also alleged torture including electric shocks, charges the kingdom has denied.
Dr Fitaihi’s American citizenship could further complicate relations between Saudi Arabia and the US.
In December, the US Senate voted unanimously on a non-binding resolution that blamed the Saudi crown prince for the brutal murder of prominent Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi was murdered on October 2 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by a group of Saudi agents. US intelligence agencies reportedly believe MBS ordered the murder, allegation the kingdom denies.
A group of US Senators introduced a legislation on Tuesday that would require the US Director of National Intelligence to submit a public report on the assassination.
Khashoggi had protested Fitaihi’s detention in Saudi Arabia in a tweet in January, 2018.
“What has happened to us?” Khashoggi wrote in Arabic. “How can someone like Dr Walid Fitaihi be arrested and what are the justifications for it?”
مالذي اصابنا ؟ كيف يعتقل شخص كالدكتور وليد فتيحي وما مبررات ذلك ؟ وبالطبع الجميع في عجز وحيرة ، لا احد تذهب اليه فتشفع ، ولا نائب عام يجيبك فتتحقق ، الله المستعان .@Walidfitaihipic.twitter.com/hFzmRm5xVQ