Moroccan Brahim Saadoun released and transferred to Saudi Arabia

VShe transfer of prisoners was announced on Wednesday by the Saudi Foreign Ministry, following the mediation of Mohamed Bin Salman, Saudi Crown Prince.

They are Moroccan Brahim Saadoun, five Britons, two Americans, a Swede and a Croat, the ministry said in a statement.

They arrived in Saudi Arabia from Russia, and the Saudi authorities “work to facilitate the procedures for their safe return to their respective countries”according to the same source.

This exchange was facilitated by the efforts of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, who “continues to undertake humanitarian initiatives in the context of the Russian-Ukrainian crisis”added the same source.

It did not specify the identity of the ex-prisoners, the date of their arrival or the date of their return to their countries. The Moroccan was identified as Brahim Saadoun by an official at the Moroccan embassy in Riyadh, who requested anonymity.

Brahim Saadoun, 21, was captured last April by separatist forces in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine. Two months later, the young student was sentenced to death by a pro-Russian court for having fought with the Ukrainian army as ” mercenary“.

‘Extremely welcome news: five British nationals held by pro-Russians in eastern Ukraine have been safely repatriated’tweeted British Prime Minister Liz Truss, thanking both Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Saudi Arabia.

For his part, the American national security adviser Jake Sullivan declared that the United States “thank” Zelensky and his government “for including two U.S. citizens in the prisoner exchange announced today” with Russia.

“We thank the Crown Prince (Mohammed bin Salman, editor’s note) and the Saudi government for facilitating” the operation, he also wrote on Twitter.

Sweden and Croatia also confirmed the release of their citizens, and thanked Ukraine and Saudi Arabia. The Croatian, Vjekoslav Prebeg, detained in Ukraine since April, will return to his country on Thursday, according to the Croatian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On the Moroccan side, no official comment has been made on this subject.

(with AFP)

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