July 18 (UPI) — A woman at the center of social media outrage for walking through a historic Saudi Arabian village in a short skirt was arrested, state media said Tuesday.
The brief video clip, showing a woman identified as Khulood walking in a historic fort in Ushayqir, sparked backlash because her clothing violated Saudi Arabia’s conservative dress code. Her miniskirt and crop-top, and uncovered head, were the topic of debate on social media on Monday in the religiously conservative country.
The woman was arrested by Riyadh police for wearing “suggestive clothing,” Saudi state television station Al Ekhbariya reported Tuesday.
The Saudi newspaper Okaz reported that Ushayqir officials called on police and the provincial governor to find and arrest Khulood. The local Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, regarded as the religious police, announced it was in contact with authorities over the video, the BBC said.
By law, women in Saudi Arabia are required to wear a loose fitting cloak called an abaya, although foreign visitors are exempt.
Some people called for her arrest and trial in social media commentaries, suggesting that if she lives in Saudi Arabia, she should accept its laws.
Others lauded her bravery and noted that two recent and prominent visitors to the country, Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump, chose not to wear abayas or head coverings and received little criticism for their decision.
The video shows her walking at Ushayqir Historic Village in Najd province, one of Saudi Arabia’s most conservative regions. It was first posted to Snapchat over the weekend, and was later seen on Twitter.