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Saudi Police Release Woman Following Her Arrest for Wearing Miniskirt

  • VOA News

This screen grab of a video posted online purports to show a woman wearing a miniskirt and crop top at a historic fort in Ushaiger, Saudi Arabia.

Police in Saudi Arabia have released without charge a woman who was arrested after she appeared in a posted video wearing a miniskirt and crop top, with her hair uncovered, in violation of the country's strict dress code.

The Saudi Ministry of Information said police released the woman Tuesday night after a prosecutor closed the case.

Police detained the woman, known on the social media app Snapchat as “Model Khulood,” for wearing “suggestive clothing” after someone posted videos of her walking through the historic fort of Ushaiqer, outside Riyadh, the capital.

According to the ministry, the woman confessed to breaking Saudi rules against being in public with her hair uncovered, but she said she did not know the video had been uploaded on the social media site.

The video, posted a few days ago, was widely shared on Twitter and Youtube, drawing both praise for the woman's bravery and criticism for her violation of Saudi dress code, which mandates that women wear a black "abaya" that covers everything except the face, feet, and hands. Women are also required to cover their hair while in public in Saudi Arabia, which has some of the world's harshest restrictions on women.

The debate exposed conflicting views on Saudi Arabia's strict rules for women. In addition to the specific dress code, women in the Muslim nation are required to get written permission from a male relative in order to travel anywhere outside their home and are forbidden from driving cars.

Supporters of "Khulood" noted that many foreign women have not covered their heads while visiting the country.

A screenshot of the video with the face of Ivanka Trump, U.S. President Donald Trump's daughter, and the caption “Enough already, the situation has been solved" was among the images widely shared. Trump, along with first lady Melania Trump, kept their hair uncovered during a recent visit to Saudi Arabia.

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