TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Saudi security forces have arrested 11 princes for protesting at the ruling palace in Riyadh and refusing to leave, sources said Saturday.

Sabq local online news quoted sources as saying that the princes had protested against the decision by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to stop the government from paying the power and water bills of princes.

The princes were also angry at the palace’s disregard for their demands to get compensation for last year’s execution of a prince charged with murder, Xinhua reported.

The arrested princes have been sent to prison, pending trial.

Meanwhile, social network users have reported that a local court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a number of poets critical of the regime to five to 10 years in prison.

On Friday, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said the Saudi authorities must immediately release Saleh al-Shehi from detention and stop arresting journalists who criticize the Riyadh government. Shehi, working for daily al-Watan, was arrested by security forces on January 3.

Saudi authorities were holding at least seven journalists behind bars as of December 1, 2017, amid a widening crackdown on dissent in the kingdom, according to CPJ research.

The Riyadh regime has detained scores of activists and public figures since September amid an effort by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to consolidate power among the sprawling royal family's power centers.

Hundreds of Saudi figures, including more than a dozen royals and ministers of the state, have been arrested as part of what has been called an anti-corruption drive.

Among those arrested in Riyadh is Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, majority owner of the Rotana media company and a business mogul, as well as Waleed Al Ibrahim, who owns MBC and Al Arabiya, a pan-Arab news channel based in Dubai.