Saudi Arabia arrests 200 people for violating ‘public decency,’ wearing ‘immodest clothing’

Men and women must avoid 'tight-fitting clothing' or clothes with 'profane language or images' Saudi authorities warn. Earlier this year the kingdom eased its strict dress code for foreign women

After a long period of relaxed social regulations under the rule of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia is cracking down suddenly on what it considers public indecency, Mailonline reports.

The Kingdom has arrested more than 200 people for violating “public decency.” Some 120 men and women have been charged over the past week with offending public morals by wearing immodest clothing and “harassment,” police said.

Another 88 people were arrested in “harassment” cases, police added in separate statements, after women complained on social media that they were harassed at the MDL Beast music festival in Riyadh earlier this month.

Other rules broken included wearing “inappropriate clothes”, Riyadh police said in a series of statements on Twitter since Tuesday. Police on social media said that unspecified punishments were doled out to those who got too risque.

The MDL electronic music festival, which drew tens of thousands of fans, was billed by organisers as the biggest ever to be hosted in the kingdom.

Police did not provide any further details, such as the duration of the incarcerations.

The ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom had been lifting decades-long bans on cinemas and women drivers while allowing gender-mixed music concerts and athletic events.

The relaxed social norms have been welcomed by many Saudis, two-thirds of whom are under 30.

But in September, Saudi Arabia said it would penalise violations of “public decency”, including wearing immodest clothing and public displays of affection, after the austere kingdom began issuing tourist visas for the first time.


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