Saudi cops arrest young woman for removing abaya
RIYADH: Police in the Saudi capital said yesterday they had arrested a woman for taking off her veil in public and posting pictures of her daring action on Twitter. Police spokesman Fawaz Al-Maiman did not name the young woman, but several websites identified her as Malak Al-Shehri, who triggered a huge backlash on social media after posing without the hijab in a main Riyadh street last month. “Police officers have detained a girl who had removed her abaya, implementing a challenge she announced on social media several days ago,” Maiman said.
He said in a statement that the police in the ultraconservative kingdom acted in line with their duty to monitor “violations of general morals”. He said the woman posted a tweet of herself standing next to a popular Riyadh cafe on Al-Tahliya Street but without wearing the Islamic headscarf that is required in Saudi society. The woman, in her 20s, was taken to prison, he said, also accusing her of “speaking openly about prohibited relations with (non-related) men”. “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 sabq.org news website said the woman had posted on Twitter that she would go out in public without her abaya. —