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Saudi Arabia Releases Woman Arrested for Wearing Skirt in Public


A woman, identified only by her given name, Khulood, appears in an undated video wearing a crop top and skirt in public, contrary to Saudi Arabia’s conservative social norms.

AMMAN, Jordan — The police in Saudi Arabia have released without charge a woman who was arrested after videos appeared online of her strolling through a historic neighborhood in a short skirt and crop top, violating the country’s strict social codes.

The brief videos, downloaded and reposted from Snapchat, spread quickly on social media in the conservative Islamic kingdom, setting off heated debates between those who criticized her for breaking Saudi rules and others who defended her for doing something considered normal elsewhere in the world.

Saudi news media reported on Tuesday that the woman, known only by her given name, Khulood, had been arrested and turned over to prosecutors. She was released a few hours later after questioning, and was not charged with a crime, according to a statement released Wednesday by the Saudi Information Ministry. The woman had said the videos were shared without her knowledge.

Saudi Arabia’s conservative culture and strict interpretation of Islam make the country restrictive of women’s rights. In many legal contexts, Saudi women have a similar status to minors. Women cannot marry, travel abroad or get certain kinds of medical treatment without the permission of a male “guardian,” often a father, husband or even a son.

Source: NYT > World

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