Below is the translation of a statement by Saudi prince Khaled Farhan Al-Saud who recently defected from the royal family after saying that the regime goes against God’s rules.
“I declare my defection from the regime and support of the Islah Movement led by Dr Saad Al-Fagih.
I have had a personal and bitter experience with those holding power in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This harsh personal experience at the hand of the ruling regime in the Kingdom made me taste tyranny and appreciate what my countrymen experience.
I have realised how widespread is oppression, and how extensive is the practice of usurping people’s rights, the disregard of the judiciary, the manipulation of religion and other forms of inhumane practices. This sour experience led me to a list of conclusions that should be made public in order to clear my conscience.
Firstly, I proudly declare my defection from the Saudi ruling family, for their policies, decisions and conduct are never governed by national or people’s interests but by personal whims.
Secondly, those holding power in the kingdom believe that they own the state, land and people. They insist on running the country with this belief despite the political awareness of the people and repeated calls for justice and freedom.
Thirdly, those in power not only rejected all calls for reform put forward by prominent and respectable opposition figures and answered it with oppression and ill-treatment, but they equally rejected proposed reform called for by members of the ruling family.
Fourthly, the problems facing our country are not temporary and shallow, they are not merely matters of unemployment, low salaries and bad distribution of wealth and services, but they are deep-seated and real problems to do with widespread corruption, abuse of power and subjugation of the judicial powers by the executive in a way which oppresses the people’s aspirations. Previous experiences have proven that these troubles cannot be remedied except by comprehensive and deep-rooted changes.
Fifthly, those in power intentionally ignore the deteriorating situation in the country and instead indulge in lavish lifestyles and pomp to the degree that puts national security in real danger.
Sixthly, most of what has been said by the reform and opposition groups about the political, social, economic situations and abuse of religion etc., is correct and objective.
Seventhly, through my intimate knowledge of those in power I can assure everyone that they will not respond to advice and that what motivates them is their eagerness to oppress inside the country and to guard their interests outside it.
Therefore, no changes can be achieved except by applying various forms of pressure, be it political, through media campaigns, or through popular interior efforts.
Accordingly, I declare my support of all genuine reform movements eager to secure the interests of our citizens and in particular the Islah movement headed by Dr Saad Al-Fagih.
I wish that all the silent princes who agree with me come out in support in readiness to assume their responsibility to appease God and country.”
Khalid bin Farhan bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Farhan Al-Saud.