Saudi princes arrested for sit-in against paying bills

AFP , Sunday 7 Jan 2018

Eleven Saudi princes face trials in the kingdom after being arrested for a protest against the end of state subsidies for their utility bills, the attorney general said on Sunday.

The princes were detained after gathering outside a palace in Riyadh on Thursday to demonstrate against a government decision to stop paying the water and electricity bills of royals.

They also demanded compensation for a death sentence issued against one of their cousins, convicted of murder and executed in 2016, attorney general Saud al-Mojeb said.

"A group of 11 princes staged a sit in at the historic Qasr Al-Hokm palace on Thursday... objecting a recent royal order that halted payments by the state to members of the royal family to cover their electricity and water utility bills," Mojeb said in a statement issued by the information ministry.

"Despite being informed that their demands are not lawful, the 11 princes refused to leave the area, disrupting public peace and order," Mojeb said.

The 11 have been charged on "a number of counts" and are being held at the maximum security Al-Hayer prison, south of Riyadh, according to the statement.

*This story is edited by Ahram Online

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