Qatari Royal Says He's a 'Prisoner' of Abu Dhabi Prince

Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali al-Thani made the claim in a YouTube video.
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2018 4:00 PM CST
Qatari Royal Says UAE Prince Is Holding Him 'Against His Will'
Qatari Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al Thani, right, in Tangiers, Morocco.   (Saudi Press Agency via AP)

A member of the Qatari royal family says he's being held prisoner in the United Arab Emirates by Abu Dhabi's crown prince. Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali al-Thani made the claim in a YouTube video released by Emirates news site UAE 71 on Sunday. "I'm currently in Abu Dhabi, being hosted by Sheikh Mohamed. But this is not a hosting status. Rather, it is a 'holding' one. They told me not to move," he said in the video, according to the BBC. Sheikh Abdullah said in the video that he feared his own country would be blamed should anything happen to him. "I'd like to inform you that if something happens to me, Qatar will be innocent of it," he said. Tweets written by a UAE counter-extremism official said Sheikh Abdullah may leave "whenever he wants."

Al Jazeera reports that Lebanese officials alleged in November that Prime Minister Saad Hariri had a similar experience in Saudi Arabia, where he said he was held hostage. That same month, former Egyptian Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik reportedly released a video in which he said he'd been barred from leaving the UAE. Sheikh Abdullah is the son of a former Qatari emir who, after years of living in obscurity, made headlines last year during a diplomatic crisis in which Saudi Arabia barred the Qatari people from entering their country. With his country cut off from travel to the holy city of Mecca, the BBC reports Sheikh Abdullah helped strike the deal that allowed Qatar's citizens to travel across the Saudi border and attend the Hajj. (Read more Abu Dhabi stories.)

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