“The first successful escape from the travel ban in Saudi Arabia” .. Details of the dangerous adventure

With calls for US President Joe Biden to put pressure on Saudi leaders on human rights issues during his planned visit in the middle of this month, the Washington Post published the story of a US teenager who managed to get along to escape from the kingdom with his father. a dramatic way.

In an article entitled “A Bold Journey to Safety” published by the American newspaper, the American author, David Ignatius, talked about the email of an American teenager about the arid Quarter desert to be with his Saudi father to escape to the United States. President Biden to discuss this story with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed. Bin Salman to speak.

The author says that Rakan Al-Dosari (14) started his problems after he and his father, Nader, a Saudi businessman, sued the kingdom in 2020 to assert their genetic claims in a dispute over a 1995 refinery transaction in St. Lucia.

The author notes that the incident is nothing more than a tedious legal issue, except that one of the defendants in the commercial lawsuit was Mohammed bin Salman.

The story began in June 2020 when Al-Dosari filed a lawsuit in the state of Pennsylvania on behalf of his son Rakan, a U.S. citizen, against former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and other Saudi parties.

He claimed that they had failed to fulfill an outdated contract for a refinery project on the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia. But the case posed a dilemma: How can a summons be addressed to a prince whose whereabouts are no longer known?

The lawsuit was later amended to include Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who according to the file placed Mohammed bin Nayef under house arrest and confiscated his assets, which consequently prevented him from fulfilling his contractual obligations.

When al-Dosari said a summons could not be served against Mohammed bin Nayef, the court ordered Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s lawyer to help locate him.

A spokesman for the Saudi embassy in Washington declined to comment on this column.

On May 20, 2021, Rakan and his father planned to travel from Riyadh to Washington and leave other family members behind after the kingdom had just lifted its coronavirus-related travel ban.

The father and son carried their boarding passes to Dulles International Airport outside Washington, DC, but were stopped at passport control. After an hour of delay, they were told they could not board the plane, according to Ignatius.

“We were told … there is a ban on leaving the country … I later learned that the travel restrictions had been imposed by the royal court,” Nader al-Dosari said in a lawsuit last year.

“False fishing trip”

Fearing the incident, Rakan sent a video appeal to the US embassy in Riyadh on June 9. In the text of the video, he said: “Dear President Biden, My family and I are now hostages in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on the orders of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman … As a law-abiding citizen, I have done nothing. “I think Mohammed bin Salman is punishing me and my family for claiming our rights in a US federal court.”

Referring to the Biden administration’s promise to release all American hostages, Rakan called on Biden: “Please free me and my family … Please protect us from MBS … Please bring us home. ”

After giving up American aid, the father and son made plans to flee the kingdom.

Their first plan was to ride two Sea-Doo jet skis across the Gulf that separate Saudi territory from the island of the small kingdom of Bahrain, but Al-Dosari and his son were worried that they would be attacked by sharks or by the Saudi Coast Guard on the way, so they gave up the plan. “

Ignatius added, “The second escape plan for the Al-Dossary family was more daring. Nearer Al-Dosari contacted a group of smugglers (who) took him and Rakan to the launch site in southern Saudi Arabia and a false hunting arranged in four. -wheel-powered vehicles. “

He added: “They bought sheep and other believers to eat during the trip while Nader Al-Dosari left his cellphone in Riyadh. The adventure cost almost $ 30,000, but the two felt they had no choice. . “

The journey through the deserted sand dunes of the Empty Quarter took several days. During the trip, Saudi police stopped the fugitives and warned them not to shoot any deer or other protected animals, according to Ignatius.

At the end of June, they crossed to a neighboring country on the Persian Gulf, where they planned to travel from there to a regional hub and then to the United States – Rakan with his US passport and Nader with another Gulf passport that he had received years before.

But the passport officer noted that BCR’s pre-test tests had been conducted in Saudi Arabia and stopped them for further questioning.

The author adds: “Nader Al-Dosari told me: ‘I thought it was the end. But in the end, the authorities acquitted the father and son. When the two landed at the crossroads, they again thought they were free. But this time, the (US) passport officer noticed that Nader’s visa The United States has some incorrect translations from Arabic. “

But again, the authorities let them pass. They arrived in Dallas in late June, the first two Saudis to escape the travel ban imposed by Mohammed bin Salman, Ignatius said.

Ignatius noted that the Al-Dosari family story “is just another example of the dangers facing Saudi citizens that are offending the kingdom’s leader.”

This story, he said, “explains in simple terms why President Biden should demand more accountability when he meets with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman this month.”

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