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Qatari Royal Family Member Detained by UAE Says Life in Danger

Sunday 14 January 2018
Qatari Royal Family Member Detained by UAE Says Life in Danger

Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani

A member of the Qatari royal family has issued a video message saying his life is in danger after held against his will in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Alwaght- A member of the Qatari royal family has issued a video message saying his life is in danger after held against his will in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani released on Sunday a video statement saying that he was "a prisoner" in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi, and that if anything happened to him, "Sheikh Mohammed" is responsible.

While he did not specify, Sheikh Abdullah appeared to be referring to the Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.

"I am currently in Abu Dhabi. I was a guest of Sheikh Mohammed. I am no longer a guest; I am a prisoner,"  he said in the video, which was widely circulated on social media.

"They told me not to leave. I am afraid that anything could happen to me, and the people of Qatar would be blamed. So I just wanted to inform you that if anything happens to me, the people of Qatar are innocent," added Sheikh Abdullah.

"I am a guest of Sheikh Mohammed and if anything happens to me after this, he is fully responsible."

Sheikh Abdullah is a son of a Qatari emir from the 1960s, Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah Al Thani. He went quiet for decades but bounced back last summer following major diplomatic crisis in the Persian Gulf. Sheikh Abdullah belongs to a branch of the Al-Thani royal family that has seen its power eroded but is still well-connected across the region.

After Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Qatar in June, Sheikh Abdullah appeared frequently on Saudi and UAE television programs expressing his views in support of the measures against Doha.

In August, Sheikh Abdullah met powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to mediate on reopening a land border to allow Qatari pilgrims to perform the annual Muslim pilgrimage to the Saudi city of Mecca.

It was the first public high-level encounter between the two nations since the diplomatic crisis erupted.

Doha was quick to point out that he was in Saudi Arabia on a personal mission and did not represent the government.

At an Arab League meeting in Cairo in September, Qatar's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Soltan bin Saad al-Muraikhi said Saudi Arabia was looking to depose Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and replace him with Sheikh Abdullah.

UAE Denies Qatari royal's claim

The UAE rejected on Sunday claims that the Persian Gulf Arab country has detained Sheikh Abdullah against his will and the Qatari opposition figure is free to leave the Emirates.

A UAE Foreign Ministry official said Sheikh Abdullah had come to Abu Dhabi at his own request as a guest after the Qatari government placed restrictions on him.

“He is free to move about and has expressed his desire to leave the state, all procedures were facilitated for him without any obstruction,” the official said in a statement carried by the UAE state news agency WAM, giving no details of his destination.

The official said the claim that Sheikh Abdullah was being held against his will was “lies”, and blamed Qatar.

 

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Qatar UAE Al Thani

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