Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 25 October 2020

Wife of imprisoned Qatari sheikh appeals to UN for his release

Sheikh Talal Al Thani, the grandson of the founder of the gas-rich state, has been in jail since 2013

Sheikh Talal Al Thani with his wife Asma Arian and their daughter.
Sheikh Talal Al Thani with his wife Asma Arian and their daughter.

The wife of Qatar’s Sheikh Talal Al Thani, Asma Arian, appealed for his release from prison to the Human Rights Council on Monday.

The grandson of the founder of the gas-rich state, Sheikh Talal has been jailed since 2013, allegedly for an unpaid debt.

Ms Arian says he has been tortured and ill-treated in detention, and denied medical care as his health deteriorates.

“My husband needs urgent medical care and a lawyer he chooses freely,” she told the UN council via video.

“An arbitrary 22-year sentence was imposed on him while he was in jail. He is incommunicado in detention and suffers from severe medical conditions he developed in prison.

“He’s been arbitrarily detained in Qatar for over seven years – years of suffering for our children and me, and torture and despair for him,” said Ms Arian, who lives in Germany with her four children.

She says her husband was detained after he requested his inheritance from the government. His plight has been linked to the decades of infighting within the Qatari royal family.

Sheikh Talal’s grandfather, Sheikh Ahmad bin Ali Al Thani, who reigned from 1960 until 1972, was deposed by his cousin Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad, grandfather of Qatar’s current emir, Sheikh Tamim.

Updated: September 22, 2020 06:55 PM

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