King Salman of Saudi Arabia ordered the arrest and interrogation of a Saudi prince on Wednesday after a video showing the prince abusing an unidentified man and pointing a rifle at another emerged online. In another video, which has been played nearly a quarter-million times, the young, low-level prince can be seen handcuffed, with his feet chained, being escorted into a building by security officers.
According to The Associated Press, the short clips, which were published on YouTube, were shared on Twitter leading to a social media buzz. While in one clip a rifle was pointed towards a pleading man who is bleeding from the head, in another, the prince can be seen punching and slapping another man who is sitting on a chair. The clips were shared thousands of times in Saudi Arabia under the Arabic Twitter hashtag that said “prince transgresses on citizens”.
In one more clip, which has been viewed more than 7.5 lakh times, 18 bottles of Johnnie Walker Red Label whiskey can be seen displayed on a table among a wad of cash. This is critical since Saudi Arabia laws do not allow sale and consumption of alcohol.
Saudi Arabia’s state TV reported that the king ordered a full investigation into the incident along with the arrest of Prince Saudi bin Abdulaziz bin Musaed bin Saud bin Abdulaziz and the others who were in the clips. The monarch also ruled that the accused should not be released until a court issues a ruling in accordance with the country’s Islamic Shariah laws.
King Salman also asked people to remain vigilant in observing exploitation of status or power. The Saudi King Salman, who has branded himself a “decisive” leader, has not hesitated from firing ministers caught on video being rude or insulting citizens. For instance, he fired a senior royal court official for slapping a photographer.
The arrest comes in the wake of reports that a woman wearing a miniskirt in a Saudi fort was detained and questioned for defying the kingdom’s dress code for women, which requires females to cover themselves in public.
Prosecution against royal family members is rare, but not unheard of. Last October, the kingdom executed a prince who had fatally shot another man.