Young women who wore a miniskirt in Public and posted a video online has been arrested by police in Saudi Arabia, sparking an outcry from people who say she flagrantly violated the kingdom's conservative Islamic dress code.
Saudi Arabia's state-run TV reported that police in the capital, Riyadh, arrested the woman for wearing "immodest clothes" and referred her case to the country's public prosecutor.
The young Saudi woman drew attention over the weekend when she shared on Snapchat a video of herself walking in a historic village north of the capital wearing a miniskirt and crop top, and showing her hair. Saudi Arabia has strict dress codes for men and women.Women must wear loose, long robes and most also cover their face.
Before the arrest was made,Saudi authorities investigated the footage of a woman in a miniskirt and walking througha historic site in the ultra conservative kingdom posted to social media over the weekend.
— فاطمة العيسى (@50BM_) July 16, 2017
A series of videos, initially posted to the Snapchat account of "Model Khulood", show a young woman in a high-waisted miniskirt walking through a fort in Ushaiqer, outside the capital Riyadh, playing with sand in the dunes and turning towards the camera for a close-up, her long hair uncovered.
The videos have since been uploaded to YouTube and tweeted by different users. The local government of Riyadh has issued a memo saying authorities were taking the "necessary measures" to find the woman, who it accused of "walking around... in indecent clothing".
The Commission of the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice - Saudi Arabia's "morality police" - on Sunday also confirmed it was investigating the case in coordination with "relevant authorities" via Twitter.
The snaps have sparked heated debate, with social media users in the region and beyond weighing in on questions of gender and rights in the kingdom, where women are required to wear long black abaya robes and cover their hair in public.
Many have come to the defence of the girl, pointing out the privileges afforded to Western women by Saudi authorities. US First Lady Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump, daughter of the president, did not cover their hair when they visited Saudi Arabia in May.
"If it were Trump's daughter, we would have braced ourselves for the flood of compliments and love poems," read one tweet. "Problem solved," tweeted Shahd bint Fahd along side a picture of the model with Ivanka Trump's face superim posed over the original. Others expressed outrage and derided those speaking out in support of the model.
"These are the demands of the liberal ignorant community:a naked woman, a co-ed movie theatre, and music and dance.That's progress to them! Not health care and not education,"read one tweet.
(With PTI Input)