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King Salman of Saudi Arabia Fires Head of Royal Protocol After Slapping Photojournalist

King Salman of Saudi Arabia has fired the head of royal protocol, Mohammed al-Tobayshi, days after he was filmed slapping a photographer.

In a decree published by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) news agency on May 5th, the royal house gives no reason for Mohammed al-Tobayshi’s removal.

TV footage seemingly showed Mohammed al-Tobayshi hitting the photographer while King Salman greeted Morocco’s King Mohammed at Riyadh airport on May 3rd.

A royal decree named Khalid al-Abbad as the replacement of Mohammed al-Tobayshi, the SPA reported.

Photo Getty Images

Photo Getty Images

King Salman’s decision was welcomed by Saudis on social media networks.

After the video was posted online, many had accused Mohammed al-Tobayshi of abusing his authority.

“This is a great day for journalists and media figures,” journalist Abdullah al-Bergawi told Gulf News.

“Removing the head of the royal protocol in support of a journalist is a clear consolidation of the status of the media and a victory for journalism.

“King Salman is again showing that no-one is above the law and that all people, officials or not, are to be held responsible for their words and deeds and for not respecting people’s right to dignity.”

Last month, King Salman banned a senior member of the royal family, Prince Mamdouh bin Abdul Rahman, from taking part in all sports activities and speaking to the media after he made remarks considered racist during a TV talk show.

King Salman also replaced Ahmed Al-Khatib as health minister earlier in April after he was filmed having a heated argument with a member of the public who had come to speak to him about the condition of a hospital in Riyadh.

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