Doha, Qatar skyline
The wife of detained Qatari royal Sheikh Talal Al Thani has sought his release in view of the spread of coronavirus. Image Credit: Agency

Dubai: The wife of detained Qatari royal Sheikh Talal Al Thani has called on the country’s authorities to release him in view of the spread of coronavirus pandemic, Al Arabiya TV has reported.

Asma Rayyan, wife of Sheikh Talal Al Thani, who has been detained in Qatar for seven years, confirmed that the Doha authorities had attempted to blackmail her husband.

She explained that her husband was acquitted by the judiciary system but the Doha authorities imprisoned him.

Asma Rayyan revealed that placing her husband in detention was difficult in light of the “coronavirus outbreak at the central prison.” She stressed that her husband has been tortured in prison.

Asma Rayyan told her husband not to submit to pressure from Qatari authorities, who she claims have tried to blackmail him.

Her daughter also appeared in a video, pleading for her father to be released.

Sheikh Talal, who has been detained for seven years without charge, is the grandson of the late Sheikh Ahmed Bin Ali Al Thani, the former Emir of Qatar, who ruled from 1960 until 1972.

Sheikh Ahmad was ousted by his cousin Sheikh Khalifa Bin Hamad, the father of former emir Hamad Bin Khalifa and the grandfather of Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad, Qatar’s current emir.

Tensions between family members escalated following the death of one of Qatar’s founders, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Ahmed, after his exile in Saudi Arabia in 2008.

Shortly afterwards, Sheikh Talal’s assets were frozen, and the inheritance he was due to receive after his father’s death withheld.