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Eleven Saudi princes detained for protesting at ruling palace

Eleven Saudi princes detained for protesting at ruling palace
Photo: AFP

Riyadh: Saudi authorities have detained 11 princes after they gathered and staged protest at one of the king’s palaces in Riyadh over the non-payment of their electricity and water bills.

The online news website sabq.org quoting unnamed officials, reported Saturday that a division of the National Guard, which is tasked with protecting the royal family, was ordered to arrest the princes after they refused to leave the royal palace.

The state-linked Saudi news website reports that the princes gathered at Qasr a-Hokm royal palace to object the austerity measures recently imposed on royal-family members demanding the King Salman bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud reverse a decision.

Sabq.org reports the princes were also demanding financial compensation for a death sentence issued against one of their cousins who also belonged to the royal family.

All 11 royals were sent to Ha’ir al-Hayer prison where they will reportedly be held until court trial begins.

“Everybody is equal before the law and anyone who does not implement regulations and instructions will be held accountable, no matter who he is,” the website said, quoting sources.

They were detained at the five-star Ritz Carlton Hotel in Riyadh which was converted into a luxury prison where high-ranking detainees were held and financial settlements were negotiated.

Saudi Arabia in November last year rounded up richest and most influential people, including princes and government ministers in a crackdown on corruption, a massive campaign led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

AP/PTI inputs