Prince Khaled bin Farhan Al Saud (Twitter)
An exiled Saudi prince has formed a Europe-based opposition movement seeking to change the regime in Saudi Arabia and end human rights abuses in the repressive country.
Prince Khaled bin Farhan Al Saud, who fled to Germany in 2007 citing fears of arrest by the kingdom’s authorities, has named the opposition group the Freedom Movement of Arabian Peninsula People, he told The Independent on Tuesday.
The movement primarily seeks to campaign for the realization of a “constitutional monarchy” in Saudi Arabia as well as elections to appoint a prime minister and cabinet. Such changes, Prince Farhan hopes, would replace the current absolute monarchical regime, which is run by an exclusive branch of the Saud family.
The measures are aimed at ending “endemic” rights violations and inequality in the kingdom and “ultimately” placing power in the hands of the people, the daily cited Prince Farhan as saying.
The movement will also be trying to protect those dissidents who flee Saudi Arabia, including by providing them with lawyers, specialist translators, and access to the media to help them seek asylum in Europe.
“We need a new system in Saudi Arabia like other democracies, where the people have the right to elect a government, to create a new Saudi Arabia,” the 41-year-old Saudi prince said. “We have a vision for the judicial system, for human rights and accountability; but right now, we need to focus on the constitution and on activism to help Saudis in Europe.”
Pointing to the plight of fugitive Saudi dissenters, Farhan said, “I felt this suffering myself. I want to help others who faced the same problems as me.”
He was referring to the threats he received from Saudi authorities — right before he fled to Germany — of detainment due to his criticism of the ruling family, as well as repeated attempts by Saudi officials to lure him into the country’s diplomatic missions abroad.
In October last year, Saudi authorities notoriously lured US-based Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, where they killed and dismembered him on an order from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to the CIA.
“When you make calls against the government, you need help,” Prince Farhan said, hinging at the dangers Saudi dissidents face.
Farhan hails from a group of royals who have fallen out with Mohammed.
The heir to the Saudi throne has been at the center of numerous controversies.
He launched a Saudi-led war against Yemen in 2015. The war has so far killed tens of thousands and turned the already-impoverished country into the scene of the world’s biggest humanitarian disaster.
Recently, there have been increasing rumors that King Salman himself has developed a negative view of his son due to the many controversies that he has caused, according to The Guardian.
This article has been adapted from its original source.