Adding to the list of reason why you could be arrested for behaving in a certain way on social media, the police in Riyadh said that they had arrested a woman for not only taking off her veil in public but also posting pictures of herself on Twitter.
Police spokesman Fawaz al-Maiman did not name the woman, but several websites have identified her as Malak al-Shehri, who triggered a huge backlash on social media after posing in a picture without her hijab in a main street of the Saudi Arabian capital last month.
In a statement issued by the police, Maiman said the police in the ultra-conservative kingdom acted in line with their duty to monitor “violations of general morals”. He said the women posted a tweet of herself standing next to a popular Riyadh cafe but without wearing the Islamic headscarf that is required in Saudi society.
According to some posts on the micro-blogging site, there was a faction that was appalled at the woman’s bravado and even demanded her execution. “A Saudi woman went out yesterday without an Abaya or a hijab in Riyadh Saudi Arabia and many Saudis are now demanding her execution”, someone tweeted along with her picture, which has apparently now been deleted.
The woman, who is reported to be in her 20s, was apparently taken to prison; she was also accused 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,” said Maiman, urging the public to “adhere to the teachings of Islam”.
Saudi Arabia apparently has some of the world’s tightest restrictions on women and is the only country where they are not allowed to drive. Women in the oil-rich nation are expected to cover from head to toe when in public.