Report: U.S. citizen detained, tortured in Saudi Arabia

An American citizen has been detained and tortured in Saudi Arabia, according to The New York Times.

The outlet reported Saturday that Walid Fitaihi, a doctor with citizenship in both Saudi Arabia and the U.S., has been held since November 2017, when he was apprehended along with roughly 200 other individuals in a so-called corruption crackdown. There has been no trial for Fitaihi, let alone any public charges against him.

A friend of the physician told the Times that Fitaihi had suffered an approximately hourlong torture session during which he was hit, blindfolded, stripped, bound and shocked with electricity.

Reacting to the news, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) tweeted Saturday evening that he is “deeply troubled,” demanding Fitaihi’s release and recalling the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents.

The White House has made no statement on the matter of Fitaihi’s alleged captivity.

Last week, Reuters reported that President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner traveled to Saudi Arabia for a Tuesday meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss peace in the Middle East. A White House statement to Reuters on the conversation made no reference to Khashoggi, despite conclusions by U.S. intelligence that his killing was likely carried out at the behest of MBS himself.

Two days after Kushner’s meeting, Trump, who was in Hanoi, Vietnam, for summit talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, gave remarks doubting the dictator’s role in the death of American college student Otto Warmbier, again signaling his friendliness to despots like MBS. 

Warmbier had been imprisoned by Kim’s regime for months, subsequently being transported home in a vegetative state with severe head injuries and dying in 2017. 

9 PHOTOS
President Donald Trump with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
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President Donald Trump with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
WASHINGTON, USA - MARCH 20: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - 'BANDAR ALGALOUD / SAUDI KINGDOM COUNCIL / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) U.S. President Donald Trump (R) poses for a photo with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud (L) of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office at the White House on March 20, 2018 in Washington, United States. (Photo by Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, center top, watches President Donald Trump, right, passing by as Brazil's President Michel Temer, left, looks on while leaders gather for the for the family photo of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
President Donald Trump shows a chart highlighting arms sales to Saudi Arabia during a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, center top, watches President Donald Trump, right, walk past as Brazil's President Michel Temer, left, stands by while leaders gather for the group photo at the start of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. Leaders from the Group of 20 industrialized nations are meeting in Buenos Aires for two days starting today.(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
President Donald Trump meets with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, top right, watches President Donald Trump, right, walk past while leaders gather for a group photo at the start of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Friday, Nov. 30, 2018. Russia's President Vladimir Putin stands second from left. Brazil's President Michel Temer stands below the prince. Rwanda's President Paul Kagame stands top left. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
WASHINGTON, USA - MARCH 20: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - 'BANDAR ALGALOUD / SAUDI KINGDOM COUNCIL / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) U.S. President Donald Trump (R) meets with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud (L) of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office at the White House on March 20, 2018 in Washington, United States. (Photo by Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, USA - MARCH 20: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - 'BANDAR ALGALOUD / SAUDI KINGDOM COUNCIL / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) U.S. President Donald Trump (5th R) and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud (6th L) of Saudi Arabia hold an inter-delegation meeting in the Oval Office at the White House on March 20, 2018 in Washington, United States. (Photo by Bandar Algaloud / Saudi Kingdom Council / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump, center, speaks while Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's crown prince, left, listens during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. The U.S. and Saudi Arabia are developing an increasingly close partnership, encompassing everything from isolating Iran to bolstering business ties beyond energy into technology, defense and entertainment. Photographer: Kevin Dietsch/Pool via Bloomberg
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