11 Princes Arrested after Protests



11 Princes were arrested after protesting utility bills in Saudi Arabia.  These Princes began to protest against the new law that was recently passed which states that the government will no longer support or pay any of the royal member’s water or electricity bills.  These 11 Princes staged a sit-in protest at the palace in Riyadh.  They were later arrested for disrupting public peace.  After their arrest, a statement was released which was appalling. “No one is above the law in Saudi Arabia.  Everyone is equal and is treated the same as other.”  This statement certainly is quite shocking.  The news of the Princes arrest is definitely a head turner, paired with this statement, it definitely raises some eyebrows. It’s no secret ow lavish the royal members of the Saudi government live.  Speculations of corruption within the Saudi government nearly plagued the world’s view of Saudi Arabia for decades.  With this new development with the arrest, it leaves the world asking several questions.

What is this law about the Saudi government no longer paying the utility bills of it’s royal member?

Over the last year, it is reported that the budget deficit of Saudi Arabia was approximately 100 billion dollars.  As a result, the Saudi government decided to cut state finances.  This law is an attempt to cut state finances.  In other attempts of economic reform, the government has ordered ministries to cut their spending on contracts by a minimum of five percent.

Who has imposed this law?

The Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia has enforced this law.  His name might ring a bell or two as it has been circling in and out of the media recently.  You may have either heard of him through various sources claiming he is the anonymous identity behind purchasing Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting for a jaw dropping total of 450 million dollars, or, you may have heard of him as he played a major part in Saudi Arabia finally giving women the right to drive.  First women gain the right to drive, now he plays a vital role in this economic reform, this begs another question…

What exactly is the Rule of Sadia Arabia like under the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman?

Let’s list them out so far:

-He has stated he wishes to get rid of extremist ideas, and usher in an Age of Moderate Islam.  So far, we can see that through the recent law giving women the right to drive.

-An attempt at economic reform.

-The establishment of the Anti-Corruption Committee.

So, What exactly is this Anti-Corruption Committee?

Remember after the 11 Princes were arrested and the public statement that was release after said “No one is above the law in Saudi Arabia.  Everyone is equal and is treated the same as other” ?  Well, it turns out, that statement was the truth.  As a result of this economic reform and this Anti-Corruption committee, it is reported that that more than 200 royal members have been arrested after Crown Princes’ reforms which are reportedly an attempt to purge the corrupt. The Anti-Corruption Committee is aimed at targeting officials who have abused their power. It’s purpose is to end the setbacks that have halted the impending necessary developments of the nation which have been occurring for decades.

Okay, so what next?

That’s a good question.  However, there are several other questions that need to be asked.  For example, is the Crown Prince’s attempts just for show?  What other reforms can we expect from his Rule?  What does he mean by “Moderate Islam”? With all of these “extreme” changes, will we expect to see some sort of riots, or will his Rule remain relatively peaceful?  All eyes remain on this giant oil producing, power hungry machine of a country.  In time, we will see what truly comes out of these reforms, and the Crown Prince’s Rule.

By Anika Shakir