(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Top figures detained in last Saturday's purge in Saudi Arabia have been beaten and tortured so badly that they required hospital treatment.
People inside the royal court say scale of the crackdown, which has brought new arrests each day, is much bigger than Saudi authorities have admitted, with more than 500 people detained and double that number questioned.
Members of the royal family, government ministers and business tycoons were caught up in the sudden wave of arrests orchestrated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, under the banner of an anti-corruption drive.
Some, but not all, of the top figures arrested were singled out for the most brutal treatment, suffering wounds to the body sustained by classic torture methods. There are no wounds to their faces, so they will show no physical signs of their ordeal when they next appear in public.
One of the most famous is Prince Bandar bin Sultan, a former Saudi ambassador to Washington and confidant of former US president George W Bush. Billionaire Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal has also been detained, as has his daughter, Reem, the only woman to be targeted in the latest roundup.
The purge, which follows an earlier roundup of Muslim clerics, writers, economists and public figures, is creating panic in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, particularly among those associated with the old regime of King Abdullah, who died in 2015, with power then passing to his half-brother, King Salman.
Many fear the primary purpose of the crackdown is a move by Bin Salman to eliminate all rivals both inside and outside the House of Saud before he ascends powers after the expected abdication of his 81-year-old father.