A young woman was arrested on Tuesday in Saudi Arabia for a Snapchat video of her wearing a miniskirt and a crop top. On the Saudi state television station Al Ekhabariya, a report said she was arrested by Riyadh police because she wore “suggestive clothing.”
But due to international outrage over the arrest, the woman has been released without charge.
The Snapchat video went viral over the weekend and is said to have caused an uproar among the public, with many calling for her arrest via Twitter. While some came to her defense, others reportedly claimed she was blatantly disregarding the country’s law that mandates all women, including foreigners, to wear abayas, which are long, loose robes in public.
According to Newsweek, one Twitter user expressed that “Just like we call on people to respect the laws of countries they travel to, people must also respect the laws of this country.”
Another took it to a whole other level, angrily proclaiming that “These are the demands of the ignorant liberal community, a broken woman, mixed cinema, songs and dance. This is their development! No health or education.”
In addition to the robes women are required to wear, many of them wear headscarves and veils that are intended to cover their face.
A statement released by the Saudi Center for International Communication said that the woman, who remains unidentified, was unaware that the video had been published. She is shown walking through a fort in the village of Ushaiger, which is approximately 90 miles north of the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh. The video is followed by pictures of her sitting in the desert.
There were no passerby’s, or anyone else shot or photographed in the Snapchat footage.
More than half of Saudi Arabia’s population is under 25, so many laws including but not limited to women not being permitted to wear makeup or clothes that enhance their beauty, are receiving immense resistance. All the while the current regime is working to appease this portion of the community.
The newly appointed Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is supposedly pursuing a modernization project entitled Vision 2030. So far, concerts and mixed film screenings are allowed in Jeddah, a western city near the Red Sea.