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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

Saudi woman’s miniskirt sparks investigation for flouting strict dress code

Some have called for the woman’s arrest over the ‘indecent’ video posted to social media

A Saudi woman seen through a heart-shaped statue walks along an inlet of the Red Sea in Jiddah
A Saudi woman seen through a heart-shaped statue walks along an inlet of the Red Sea in Jiddah

DUBAI // A young Saudi woman who walked around in public wearing a crop top and miniskirt is being investigated after a video of her flouting the country’s strict dress code sparked anger.

Some Saudis have called for the woman’s arrest after footage of her walking around an empty historic fort in an ultra conservative part of the country emerged on Snapchat.

State-linked news websites reported on Monday that officials country are considering legal action against the woman, who violated the kingdom's rules of dress.

Women in Saudi Arabia must wear long, loose robes known as abayas in public. Most also cover their hair and face with a black veil, though exceptions are made for visiting dignitaries.

The footage reportedly show the woman in Ushaiager, a village north of the capital, Riyadh, in the desert region of Najd, where many of Saudi Arabia's most conservative tribes and families are from.

Opinion was divided on Twitter. Ibrahim al-Munayif, a Saudi writer with more than 41,000 followers on Twitter, said: "Just like we call on people to respect the laws of countries they travel to, people must also respect the laws of this country.”

However others claimed that had the woman been a foreigner, people would be talking about her beauty instead of calling for her arrest.

The Saudi Okaz news website reported that officials in Ushaiager called on the region's governor and police to take actions against the woman in response to the video, without elaborating further.

Saudi news website Sabq reported that the kingdom's morality police had corresponded with other agencies to investigate further after the video was brought to their attention.