Saudi Arabia said on Saturday that it had arrested a group of 11 princes who held a rare demonstration at a royal palace after the government halted payment of their electricity and water bills, according to a statement by the Saudi attorney general.
The princes, who were arrested on Thursday after staging a sit-in, were also seeking compensation “for a death sentence that was issued against one of their cousins,” the statement said, adding that the cousin was convicted of murder and executed in 2016.
The arrests were the latest sign of tensions within the Saudi royal family as the kingdom’s young crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, assumes an increasingly dominant role in the country’s affairs.
Prince Mohammed, a close ally of the Trump administration, has introduced a raft of changes, including austerity measures and the easing of social restrictions that his supporters say are intended to modernize the country and diversify its economy.
During his sudden rise to power, the crown prince has also sidelined his most powerful rivals and moved to silence dissenting voices in an effort to consolidate his authority before eventually inheriting the throne from his father, King Salman, analysts said.
Read full article by Kareem Fahim on The Washington Post, January 8, 2018.