TEHRAN (Press Shia Agency) – Saudi Arabia arrested more than 200 people for violating “public decency” – including by wearing immodest clothing – and “harassment”, police said, in the first such crackdown since the ultra-conservative kingdom began its “social reforms”.
Some 120 men and women have been arrested over the past week for offending public morals, including wearing “inappropriate clothes”, Riyadh police said in a series of statements on Twitter since Tuesday, AFP reported.
It added that unspecified penalties were imposed on the violators.
Another 88 people were arrested in various harassment cases, 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 organizers as the biggest ever to be hosted in the kingdom.
Police did not offer any further details, including the duration of the detentions.
This marked the first such mass crackdown since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began his so-called plan to “modernize” the ultra-conservative Arab kingdom.
Men and women must avoid “tight-fitting clothing” or clothes with “profane language or images”, read an instruction on an English language website launched by the tourism authority.
“Women should cover shoulders and knees in public,” it added.
The public decency guidelines, first approved by cabinet in April, are widely perceived to be vague and have sparked public concern that they would be open to interpretation.