Prominent Saudis held in what Riyadh dubbed an anti-corruption campaign were subjected to coercion and physical abuse, the New York Times reported yesterday, describing fear and uncertainty even after their release.
The newspaper said at least 17 detainees were hospitalised after facing abuse, while a Saudi general later died in custody with what witnesses said appeared to be a broken neck.
Many of the 381 suspects, including princes, ministers and tycoons, remain under military surveillance and some have been forced to wear ankle bracelets that track their movements, the newspaper said.
The revelations came ahead of a high-profile visit to the United States by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who orchestrated the crackdown in early November as he consolidates his grip on power.
Saudi officials did not immediately respond to AFP's request for comment, but the New York Times quoted the government rejecting the abuse claims as "completely untrue".
Officials have said they are in the process of recovering $107 billion (87 billion euros) seized in the crackdown, in the form of property, securities and cash, handed over by the suspects in exchange for their freedom.