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FILE PHOTO: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef, the interior minister, arrives to a military parade in preparation for the annual Haj pilgrimage in the holy city of Mecca September 5, 2016. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah/File Photo


LONDON (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia must clarify whether they have imposed movement restrictions on former crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday, saying the kingdom should end all arbitrary travel bans and detentions of Saudi citizens.

Saudi officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the HRW statement.

Reuters reported last week that the former crown prince has been under house arrest since his overthrow in favour of the king's favourite son, Mohammed bin Salman, in June. Saudi authorities have denied the story.

"Reports that Mohammed bin Nayef is under a travel ban and home detention without due process are bitterly ironic given his role in imposing similar arbitrary restrictions on thousands of Saudis," said Sarah Leah Whitson, HRW's Middle East director.

"The Saudi government needs to call a halt to officials' arbitrary abuses of power."

HRW made the call for details about Mohammed bin Nayef's status in a letter to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

"Extended detention without charge or trial or without an appearance before a judge is arbitrary, and violates both Saudi law and international human rights standards," HRW said in its statement on Thursday.

(Reporting by Reuters)

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