by Middle East Monitor
The Saudi authorities have transferred the remaining detainees being held in the Ritz-Carlton hotel to Al-Ha’ir prison, south of Riyadh, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed news site reported.
Sources told the news site that nearly 60 detainees were transferred to the most high security prison in the Kingdom. The prisoners include Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal as Prince Turki Bin Abdullah and a number of government officials who refused to make the large financial paymentsfor their release.
Saudi Arabia has used the Al-Ha’ir prison to detain political activists demanding reforms, as well as terrorism suspects. Two days ago, authorities transferred 11 princes who had gathered outside the Al-Hakam Palace in Riyadh to the prison.
According to eyewitnesses, the security services including the police, the Royal Guards and army units which have surrounded the hotel over the past two months have nearly disappeared from the hotel’s vicinity, while online a hotels booking site listed the Ritz-Carlton as available for booking as of next month.
The Saudi authorities detained nearly 200 princes and senior officials in an “anti-corruption” purge last year. The Saudi authorities are seeking to secure $100 billion in settlements from the detainees in exchange for their freedom.