Saudi Woman Released From Police Custody After Miniskirt Video
Saudi police have released a woman who was seen in a video walking around in a crop top and a miniskirt.
The woman—reportedly a model named Khulood—was detained by police in Riyadh on Tuesday. She was seen in a video strolling through an old part of Ushayqir, in Saudi Arabia’s Najd province, an ultra-conservative Islamic area of the Saudi kingdom. Her head is also uncovered.
She told investigators that the clip was posted online without her knowledge, according to a police statement, CNN reported. She was released later that day without a charge and prosecutors closed the case. The clips were originally posted on social media network Snapchat by a user named Khulood.
In Saudi Arabia’s interpretation of Islamic law, women are expected to be fully covered in loose-fitting clothing, and headscarves.
According to state television station al-Ekhbariya on Tuesday, she was specifically arrested for wearing “suggestive clothing.”
The video and the woman’s arrest triggered a debate in the kingdom.
“Just like we call on people to respect the laws of countries they travel to, people must also respect the laws of this country,” Saudi writer Ibrahim al-Munayif wrote on Twitter.
Many others offered support for the woman.
Rights organization Human Rights Watch says that the “rush to interrogate Khulood is a reminder of how far Saudi Arabia has to go” to give equal rights to women.
“Not only can women not wear what they want in public, but they also remain subject to the most serious impediment to women’s rights there is: Saudi’s male guardianship system. From birth to death, a woman must have a male guardian—a father, husband, brother, or son—give permission before she can travel abroad, marry, or even leave prison,” according to HRW.