Saudi Authorities Detain 11 Princes After They Protested At A Royal Palace Over Austerity Measures Including Being Forced To Pay Their Own Utility Bills

Last November, Saudi princes, high officials, and senior businessmen were rounded up in a crackdown on corruption.

Saudi authorities have detained 11 princes after they protested at the royal palace in Riyad against austerity measures including having to pay their own utility bills.

Saudi Arabia has introduced reforms including cutting subsidies, introducing value-added tax (VAT) and cutting perks to royal family members in a bid to deal with a huge budget deficit caused by falling oil prices.

The princes had gathered on Thursday at Qasr al-Hokm palace demanding the cancellation of a recent decree that halted state payment of water and electricity bills for royal family members and seeking compensation for a death sentence implemented in 2016 against one of their cousins, Prince Turki bin Saud al-Kabir.

‘Despite being informed that their demands are not lawful, the 11 princes refused to leave the area, disrupting public peace and order. Members of the security services stepped in to restore order and the princes were arrested,’ the public prosecutor’s statement said, without identifying the princes.

‘Following their arrest, they have been charged on a number of counts in relation to these offences. They are detained at Al-Hayer prison south of the capital pending their trial.’  DailyMail

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