(Washington, D.C. and Toronto, Ontario — October 21, 2021)— The horrific plight of the unjustly imprisoned young Saudis, Sarah and Omar Aljabri, will be told by their father, Dr. Saad Aljabri. He will speak publicly for the first time in an exclusive interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes” this Sunday, October 24. Dr. Saad is a former Saudi intelligence czar and adviser to deposed and forcibly disappeared Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.
Sarah and Omar are dual citizens of Saudi Arabia and Malta, a European Union member state. When their father fled the country in 2017, Omar and Sarah remained in Riyadh awaiting student visas to the United States. As Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) embarked on a power grab and became increasingly ruthless in his treatment of political rivals, the two children were banned from travel.
Tensions between Saudi Crown Prince MBS and Dr. Saad escalated as MBS personally used the children to blackmail Dr. Saad and coerce his return to Saudi Arabia. Sarah and Omar enrolled in college in Saudi Arabia, where they studied until they were kidnapped from their home in March 2020. After their apprehension, Dr. Saad filed a lawsuit under the Tortute Victim Protection Act against MBS for his role in deploying a team of assassins to Canada to target him, two weeks after the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi.
Shortly thereafter, the children were subjected to a secret trial without procedural safeguards, access to a lawyer, or official court documentation; they were reportedly sentenced for money laundering and conspiracy to escape the kingdom unlawfully, without any evidence other than alleged confessions that were obtained under duress. Sarah and Omar were given fifteen-year sentences, between jail and further time on travel ban.
Sarah and Omar are innocent of all the allegations against them. MBS is using them as pawns in his transnational repression campaign against Dr. Saad, which has extended to 40 other members and associates of the Aljabri family.
The family’s appeals have gone unheeded, while the Aljabri family and supporters continue to fight for their release.
For all media inquiries, please contact the Save Omar and Sarah campaign at email@example.com or call (202)-996-7869.