11 Saudi princes arrested for protesting utility bills at ruling palace – media

Saudi Arabia’s Royal Guard reportedly arrested royal family members over a protest at one of the king’s palaces in Riyadh. The princes apparently demanded utility payments be canceled, and compensation for a relative’s execution.

The royals, whose names were not disclosed, were sent to Saudi Arabia’s largest maximum-security facility – Al-Ha’ir – located south of the capital, Riyadh Saudi news site Sabq reported on Saturday. 

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© Charles Platiau

They are said to be facing a trial for their refusal to leave the historic royal palace of Qasr a-Hokm, where they protested Saudi King Salman’s decision to cut some of their privileges. This includes having their electricity and water bills paid for. The princes also reportedly demanded financial compensation for last year’s capital punishment of a relative.

Last year, Riyadh arrested dozens of royals, top government officials, and businessmen in a major anti-corruption push, offering freedom to some of the detainees in exchange for paying up to 70 percent of their billions of dollars of wealth. The arrests came after the creation of a new anti-corruption committee chaired by Saudi strongman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The crown prince, who is behind the anti-corruption purge, was claimed to have spent hefty amounts on “extravagant purchases,” including a $ 300 million chateau, a $ 500 million yacht, and a $ 450 million painting by Leonardo da Vinci, according to the New York Times. 

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