Saudi's 'Barbie' princess makes shock UK asylum bid

A Saudi princess, the granddaughter of the nation's founder, is seeking asylum in Britain over fears she could be persecuted by members of her family at home, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

Princess Sara bint Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, also known as the "Barbie" princess due to her pampered upbringing, said she had also applied to Britain's Home Office for political asylum for her four daughters, according to the report.

The ministry said it would not comment on individual cases.

"With deep regret, and as I have been left with no other choice, I have written to the UK Home Office to indicate that I, and my children, wish to be granted political asylum," she said in a statement.

"My reputation has been besmirched in the media by a baseless and malicious smear campaign.

"For years I have endured all this in silence, while trying to resolve my situation with dignity through the normal channels, without fanfare or publicity."

The divorced princess currently lives in London after moving to Britain in 2007 following a falling-out with her 80-year-old father prince Talal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud.

It is the first time such a claim has been made by a senior member of the ruling family.

Sara, 38, believes senior Saudi officials plotted to have her kidnapped and brought back to Riyadh and claims they subjected her to a "well orchestrated and malicious campaign of persecution".

"I've been physically abused," she told the newspaper. "They've accused me of being in opposition (to them) with Iran. I am very scared right now."

Her passport expired two years after arriving in Britain, and she is now facing deportation as her visa has also run out.

Britain has to decide if her claims are valid and risk sparking a diplomatic spat by accepting her request.

Tensions are currently high within the Saudi royal family due to the illness of King Abdullah and the recent death of Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud.

The deceased prince supported Sara as he was also opposed to her father, and it was reported that his recent death may have sparked the asylum request.

A Saudi embassy diplomat confirmed the embassy had been involved in visa negotiations.

"This matter is of a personal nature so there is only so much the government can do," the diplomat told the paper. "It's not a political matter."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros
    Militants want US Marines pulled out of Negros

    The militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) is calling for the pullout of US Marines who arrived in Sagay City, Negros Occidental last Wednesday to train Special Action Force (SAF) commandos and members of the allied forces. The SAF commandos and the allied forces will secure the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ministerial meeting in this city. Bayan-Negros secretary general Christian Tuayon said the US troops might violate the human rights of activists, especially those …

  • North Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills
    North Korea fires missiles in anger at South-US military drills

    North Korea fired two missiles into the sea on Monday and vowed "merciless" retaliation as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre rattling. "And if there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the North …

  • Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together
    Couple married 67 years holds hands in final hours together

    FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — After spending 67 years together as devoted husband and wife, there was no question how Floyd and Violet Hartwig would end their lives — together. …

  • China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral
    China subs outnumber US fleet – admiral

    China is building some “fairly amazing submarines” and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top US Navy admiral told US lawmakers on Wednesday, although he said their quality was inferior. Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee’s seapower subcommittee that China was also expanding the geographic areas of operation for its submarines, and their length of …

  • Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao
    Hijacked Indonesian vessel found in Davao

    An Indonesian cargo vessel that was hijacked a month ago in North Sulawesi, Indonesia has been found stuck in the waters off Mati, Davao Oriental, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported yesterday. PCG spokesperson Armand Balilo said the PCG- Southeastern Mindanao district was informed on Feb. 23 that the M/T Rehoboth was found aground off Barangay Cabuaya. Four personnel from the local PCG district office were sent to verify the report. The vessel was reportedly hijacked by …

  • Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR
    Pacman mega fight tax exemption up to Congress, BIR

    Malacañang is leaving it up to Congress and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to consider a proposed special tax exemption for boxing icon Manny Pacquiao in his much-awaited fight with Floyd Mayweather. Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said yesterday it will have to be discussed by Congress because lawmakers are the ones who enact tax exemptions, special or general. Pacquiao has been dogged by unsettled tax obligations with the BIR. …

  • Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA
    Binay backs house arrest for JPE, GMA

    Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday supported proposals to put Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile and former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo under house arrest. “Government prosecutors are opposing house arrest for… Enrile. Binay issued the statement after the 91-year-old Enrile was rushed to the Makati Medical Center on Thursday due to pneumonia. House arrest for him would be the compassionate thing to do,” he added. …

  • 3 Pinays on Forbes power women list
    3 Pinays on Forbes power women list

    Three Filipina executives, who are all daughters of known business tycoons in the country, made it to Forbes’ list of the 50 most powerful businesswomen in Asia. Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chairman of SM Investments and chairman of BDO Universal Bank, was included in the list for the fourth year in a row since its inception. “Under her (Sy-Coson) lead SMIC became the largest listed company on the Philippine Stock Exchange by market cap. Also in the 2015 list is 70-year-old Helen Yuchengco-Dee, …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options