Police in Saudi Arabia have detained a woman who featured in a social media video wearing a miniskirt and a crop-top as she strolled through a Saudi city, according to a Saudi police statement.
Video prompts social media debate
The incident has prompted questions from social media users around the hashtag #مطلوب_محاكمه_مودل_خلود, which translates as “the trial of Khulood the model is a must,” after Saudi directives curtailed their powers last year.
Many have jumped to the woman’s defense. Saudi women’s rights Twitter activist Fatima al-Issa wrote, “If she were Western, they would have praised her waist and her enchanting eyes, but because she’s Saudi they call for her to be tried!”
Social media users have called the woman “Khulood the model,” but police have not released her identity.
Under the directives announced in 2016, the religious police — better known as the Haia — can no longer detain people they identify as breaking the kingdom’s strict standards of moral conduct.
However, religious police must report individuals’ “misbehaviors” to the police or drug police, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.
Historically, the role of Saudi Arabia’s religious police has been to ensure people’s adherence to Islamic laws — such as the prohibition of alcohol and drugs, gender segregation and ensuring that women are appropriately covered.