After his removal, Mohammed bin Nayef was put under house arrest until March 2020, when he was arrested and detained.
At the start of his detention, Mohammed bin Nayef was held in solitary confinement, deprived of sleep and suspended upside down by his ankles, according to two people briefed on his situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Last fall, he was moved to a villa inside the complex surrounding the king’s Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh, the capital, where he remains, the people said.
Mohammed bin Nayef is kept by himself with no television or other electronic devices and receives only limited visits from his family, the people said. He appears to have sustained lasting damage to his ankles from his treatment in detention and cannot walk without a cane.
The government has not filed formal charges against him or explained why he is detained.
A spokesman for the Saudi Embassy in Washington did not respond to requests for comment about Princess Basmah or Mohammed bin Nayef.
Princess Basmah, 58, who was released with her daughter, Ms. al-Sharif, last week, never held a government position nor had any power. The youngest daughter of King Saud, Saudi Arabia’s second king, Princess Basmah spent much of her time in London and was best known for occasionally offering opinions about Saudi Arabia to the news media, which was rare for royals, especially women.
She criticized the kingdom’s legal system, which is based on Shariah law, and called for the country to adopt a constitution that protected citizens’ rights, statements for which she faced no consequences.