Eleven Saudi princes have been arrested for staging protests at a royal palace in Riyadh, Reuters reported on Saturday. The princes were protesting against the government’s decision to stop paying water and energy bills of royals.
The protest took place on Thursday at the Qasr al-Hokm palace in Riyadh. The princes also demanded compensation after one of their cousins was sentenced to death for an unspecified crime. The cousin was executed in 2016, reported The Washington Post.
Although those arrested have not been named, the princes were taken into custody for disturbing public peace and order. “No one is above the law in Saudi Arabia, everyone is equal and is treated the same as others,” read a statement issued by Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al Mojeb.
Currently, the Saudi government is introducing major economic changes to reduce its dependence on oil revenues. It has introduced a 5% tax on goods and services, including food and utility bills, and doubled prices of domestic petrol. The kingdom has also planned to withdraw a few government subsidies, reported BBC.
In November 2017, a dozens of high-ranking officials were arrested as part of Mohammed bin Salman-led (pictured above) kingdom’s anti-corruption crackdown. Those arrested included prominent billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the National Guard head Prince Meteb bin Abdullah and Economy Minister Adel Fakeih. Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is one of the world’s richest men and holds major stakes in News Corp, Citigroup and Twitter.