International

Riyadh arrests dozens for ‘indecency’, harassment

Some 120 people have been arrested over the past week for offending public morals, including wearing “inappropriate clothes”, officials said

Saudi Arabia has arrested more than 200 people for violating “public decency” — including by wearing immodest clothing — and “harassment”, the police said, in the first such crackdown since the ultra-conservative kingdom began easing social norms.

Some 120 men and women have been arrested over the past week for offending public morals, including wearing “inappropriate clothes”, the Riyadh police said in a series of statements on Twitter since Tuesday. It added that unspecified penalties were imposed on the violators.

Another 88 people were arrested in various harassment cases, the police have added in separate statements, after several women complained on social media that they were harassed at the MDL Beast music festival in Riyadh earlier this month. The electronic music festival, which drew tens of thousands of fans, was billed by organisers as the biggest ever to be hosted in the kingdom.

This marked the first such mass crackdown since de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began easing social restrictions in the ultra-conservative kingdom, lifting decades-long bans on cinemas and women drivers while allowing gender-mixed concerts and sporting extravaganzas.

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Printable version | Feb 29, 2020 5:23:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/riyadh-arrests-dozens-for-indecency-harassment/article30426779.ece

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