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article imageTwo of Saudi King's daughters claim they are denied food

By Ken Hanly     May 31, 2014 in World
Jeddah - Two daughters of Saudi king Abdullah, Princess Sahar 42 and Jawaher 38 claim that they are imprisoned in the royal compound in Jeddah since they spoke out against poverty and the plight of women in Saudi Arabia.
The two claim that they are not allowed to leave the compound. The Internet has been their only window to the outside world. In recent weeks they claim that their situation has grown worse with no food provided and both water and electricity cut off for days. Sahar told RT by Skype: "It's a horrible situation, it's a forced famine basically. They are confining us, depriving us of food and water, freedom and rights. We are struggling, we are surviving, we are resisting, we are trying our best to stay alive."
The government claims that the women are able to move freely around Jeddah in the company of bodyguards. The mother of the women Alanoud Al-Fayez 57, a Jordanian national who is divorced from the king and now lives in London had appealed back in March for help from President Obama before he met with King Abdullah.
On April 1st of this year Al-Fayez said that President Barack Obama refused to raise the issue of the four imprisoned women when he met with the Saudi king on March 28: “When Mr. Obama met with my ex-husband last week, he did not demand the liberation of my daughters, nor all the Saudi women enslaved by mindless, medieval government in which women are property. This clear Obama failure should be a permanent part of his legacy. He could have changed that by being the first American president to address women and human rights abuses by the Saudi king.”
The women have been imprisoned now for 13 years. The daughters had a pampered childhood and adolescence but Al-Fayez said that they were confined after criticizing their father for not doing more to relieve poverty in the kingdom:“I taught my daughters to be strong and speak the truth even to their powerful father, who doesn’t enjoy being challenged and especially not by women. When my daughters told their father his wealthy kingdom is full of terrible poverty, he called them liars, even as hundreds of men and women wait under the scorching Arabian sun to plead for the king’s help in ameliorating their dire economic or medical situations.”
Al-Fayez said that after the two daughters went on Twitter to tell their story their treatment has become worse and that the king had stopped their trips outside the compound to buy food and medicine. The king is believed to have 38 children with several different wives. His fortune is estimated at $17 billion. In a recent statement Sahar said: "The king and his sons need to answer these questions: What are we charged with? What exactly is our crime? What is the crime of 99% of women in this country, who are basically suffering under male guardianship? A male guardian can do whatever he wants; he can cut off everything and she is left with nothing".
According to a report in the Guardian and also their own testimony on the enclosed video the two daughters are being denied food: Princesses Sahar and Jawaher, daughters of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, have been denied access to food for more than 60 days and have limited access to water... No one is allowed in or out of their compound. Their sisters Maha and Hala are also imprisoned in separate complexes nearby.
UK MP Katy Clark raised the case of the daughters with the UK foreign secretary William Hague as well as with the Prime Minister David Cameron. Cameron expressed concern about the case and said he would examine it further. However both Cameron and Hague later said that they were not prepared to make any representations to Saudi authorities.
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