Young woman arrested for wearing mini skirt and crop top

By Pam Magwaza
19 July 2017

"If she was a foreigner they would flirt with her, talk about her nice body and her beautiful eyes. But because she is Saudi they want to try her."

A Snapchat video of a young woman wearing “suggestive clothing” while walking in one of Saudi Arabia’s most conservative provinces went viral recently – and subsequently led to her arrest.

Saudi state TV service Al Ekhbariya reported that the unnamed woman was seized by Riyadh police for wearing a short skirt and crop top, which is against the country's Islamic dress code.

The video initially caused national outrage among locals who shunned the woman and agreed with the arrest. But it also sparked international debate on whether conservative laws still have a place in modern society.

In the short Snap Chat video, posted by popular snapper Khulood, the young woman can be seen walking through an ancient fort in Ushayqir, a village in Najd province about 152 km from the capital, Riyadh. She is wearing a just-above-knee-length skirt and a crop top that shows her midriff.

Women in Saudi Arabia are required by law to cover themselves in public and to wear a hijab or headscarf. The law applies to all Saudi Arabians and foreigners.

According to The Telegraph, a police spokesperson said the woman admitted it was her in the video but added she had been accompanied by a male guardian so she had not broken another Saudi law, which forbids women from traveling alone.

Her case is now in the hands of a public protector who will decide whether she should be charged. If she is charged, she could face fines and potential prison time for flouting the kingdom’s morality laws.

Twitter users hotly debated the innocence of the woman.

One female Twitter user wrote in Arabic: "You violated the tradition and the basic law. You are shameless. Respect your homeland. Your parents did not educate you." While another woman defended her: “If she was a foreigner they would flirt with her, talk about her nice body and her beautiful eyes. But because she is Saudi they want to try her.”

Source: Independant, The Telegraph, ABC Online

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