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Saudi princesses 'seek Obama's help for freedom'

Published on Mar 28, 2014 12:06 AM

LONDON (AFP) - A former wife of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah appealed to US President Barack Obama on Thursday for help in the case of four daughters she says are being held in a royal palace.

Alanoud AlFayez, 57, a Jordanian national who has lived in London since her divorce from the Saudi monarch in 2003, said her children needed to be "saved".

Her comments come ahead of Mr Obama's visit to the kingdom on Friday, during which US lawmakers have urged him to address rights violations in Saudi Arabia.

"Since 13 years, my daughters Sahar, Maha, Hala and Jawaher are being held captive," AlFayez told AFP. "They need to be saved and released immediately." She added: "Mr Obama should take this opportunity to address these grave violations committed against my daughters." AlFayez, who married the Saudi king when she was only 15, said her daughters had recently had their twice-monthly trips to buy food, water and medicine for themselves and their pets stopped.

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