In a letter published by Wagze news agency on Tuesday, the Cairo-based prince warned Saudi Arabia’s ruling family of a fate similar to that of Iraq’s executed dictator Saddam Hussein and the ousted Iranian Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, calling on them to escape before people “cut off our heads in streets.”
He warned that the Saudi royal family is no longer able to “impose” itself on people, arguing that deviations in carrying out the religious concepts that make up the basis of the Saudi government “have gotten out of our hands,” so that the opposition views our acts as “interfering in people’s private life and restricting their liberties.”
“If we are wise, we must leave this country to its people, whose dislike for us is increasing,” said Prince Turki, advising Saudi officials to escape with their families.
“Do it today before tomorrow as long as the money we have is enough for us to live anywhere in the world; from Switzerland to Canada and Australia…we should not return as long as we are able to get out safely, we must take our families quickly and pull out,” he urged.
“Do not fool yourself by relying on the United States or Britain or Israel, because they will not survive the loss; the only door open is now the exit door of no return. Let us go before it closes.”
He finally warned against a military coup against the ruling family, saying “no one will attack us from outside but our armed forces will attack us.”
Prince Turki is a member of the liberal Free Princes movement founded in the 1950s amid tensions between King Faisal and his brother King Saud, requesting the Saudi authorities to implement political reforms and set out a constitution.
The late King Faisal expelled members of the civil rights group to Egypt but later on pardoned them.