11 Saudi princes arrested for protesting outside king's palace
Saudi Arabia on Saturday arrested 11 princes for staging a protest outside one of king's palaces, Qasr a-Hokm, and refusing to leave despite royal orders. All of them will face trial shortly. Until then, they have been sent to Ha'ir prison, run by Saudi intelligence services. Located south of Riyadh, the maximum-security facility houses criminals, militants and al-Qaeda terrorists. Read on for more.
Why were the princes protesting?
According to news website sabq.org, the princes had gathered outside the historical place in Riyadh to protest against the recently-introduced austerity measures disfavoring royal families. Among their demands were the cancellation of a royal decree that stopped state payment of their utility (water and electricity) bills. They also wanted compensation for a death sentence issued against a royal relative.
Saudi Arabia's latest move towards equality, coping with budget deficit
This is Saudi Arabia's latest move towards equality and coping with a budget deficit of 195 billion riyals (as of 2018). It has already been cutting subsidies and perks to royal family members, and has introduced value added tax (VAT). Last year, in a massive crackdown on corruption, it detained several royals, senior bureaucrats and other officials at Riyadh's five-star Ritz Hotel.