Saudi prince arrested over bloody 'assault' video

Saudi prince arrested over bloody 'assault' video
Screengrab from video
PHOTO: Twitter/Al Arabiya English

A Saudi prince was arrested on Thursday on Saudi King Salman's order, a state-run broadcaster reported, as outrage grew on social media over videos appearing to show him abusing members of the public.

Salman issued a warrant for "the immediate arrest ... and imprisonment" of Prince Saud, a descendant of Saudi Arabia's founder, along with a group of men who appeared in the videos uploaded to YouTube, Al-Ikhbariya television reported.

A video circulating on social media showed police escorting the young prince - one of the thousands of members of the royal family - out of a house in handcuffs.

The arrest came after the prince, whose face can clearly be seen in some of the videos shared via Twitter Wednesday, unleashed a wave of verbal and physical abuse on Saudis and foreigners.

on Twitter

In a video, a man moaning and clutching his head is led out of a house with an automatic rifle pointed at his back.

Another clip, viewed more than 760,000 times, also shows 18 bottles of whisky displayed on a table and a wad of cash. The sale and consumption of alcohol in Saudi Arabia is forbidden.

Video clips also show a man sitting in a car, bleeding and being cursed at for parking in front of a house and, what appears to be the prince punching and slapping a man who is sitting on a chair.

The prince also pummels a man cowering in a chair who waits for him to pause and insists, "Honest to God, I didn't do anything. I swear to God." The videos have sparked anger on social media, with users identifying as Saudi citizens calling for the prince to be put on trial.

"No matter who you are - prince, minister, citizen - no one is above the law," read one tweet.

The victims in the videos will be called to testify in court, according to a royal decree carried by Al-Ikhbariya. Saudi Arabia has one of the world's highest rates of execution and widely imposes harsh sentences for criminal offences.

In a highly unusual case, the kingdom last year executed a prince convicted of murder.

 

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