Police on Monday arrested a woman in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, posing for a photo without wearing the mandatory hijab and posted the ‘daring’ action on Twitter.
Police spokesperson Fawaz al-Maiman did not name the woman, but several websites identified her as Malak al-Shehri, who triggered a huge backlash in social media for blatantly violating the sharia rule followed in Saudi that mandates all woman to wear hijab while going out in public after posing without hijab in a main Riyadh street last month. Her photo became viral on social media.
In a statement, Maiman said that the police in the ultra-conservative kingdom acted in line with their duty to monitor “violations of general morals”.
“Riyadh police stress that the action of this woman violates the laws applied in this country,” Maiman said, urging the public to “adhere to the teachings of Islam”.
The tweet of her standing next to a popular Riyadh café sparked a huge outcry against Malak with people demanding exemplary punishment to her for acting against the countries “general morals.”
The woman, in her 20s, was taken to prison, he said, also accusing her of “speaking openly about prohibited relations with (non-related) men”.
Saudi Arabia is an ultra conservative country that follows Islamic law derived from the Qur’an and the Sunnah (the traditions) of the Islamic prophet Muhammadd.
The oil-rich desert kingdom has some of the world’s tightest restrictions on woman and is the only country where they are not allowed to drive.
All women in Saudi, even those who immigrates from other countries, are mandatory asked to cover from head to toe when going out in public.