Saudi woman released without charges after viral video showing her in miniskirt at historic fort

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A woman is under arrest in Saudi Arabia for wearing a mini skirt, according to ‘The Washington Post.’ Time

A Saudi woman who was arrested after she was videotaped walking around an ancient fort in a miniskirt and a skimpy top has been released without charges, Saudi authorities said on Wednesday.

The woman, identified online only as Khulood, was detained by police in the capital, Riyadh, for wearing “suggestive” clothes, according to the official Twitter account of the state-run TV channel al-Ekhbariya, which said Tuesday that her case had been referred to a public prosecutor.

The tweet used an Arabic hashtag that translates to “We demand a trial for the model Khulood.”

The video sparked outrage in the conservative country, which has a strict dress code for women, who also are not allowed to drive or travel abroad without permission.

The AP reported that a statement released by Saudi Arabia’s Center for International Communication said that police released the woman after several hour of questioning. The statement said the video was published without her knowledge.

In the video, which went viral after being posted on Snapchat over the weekend, the woman is filmed walking around a historic fort. According to the AP, the short video was shot in Ushaiager, a community in the desert region of Najd that is home to many of Saudi Arabia’s most conservative tribes and families. It is followed by other shots of her sitting in the desert.

The video sparked a Twitter hashtag calling for her arrest, the AP reported, with many saying she flagrantly disobeyed Saudi rules, which require all women living in the kingdom, including foreigners, to wear long robes known as abayas in public. Most Saudi women also wear a headscarf and veil that covers the face.

In response to calls for the woman’s arrest, the General Presidency for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vices wrote on Twitter on Monday that it “intercepted a clip of a girl in inappropriate clothing” and opened an investigation with the “relevant authorities,” The New York Times reported.

Social media outcry against the video and the woman’s subsequent arrest reveal how powerful and widespread conservative views are in the kingdom, despite recent moves by Saudi Arabia to modernize and loosen some rules.

According to AP, the government announced last week that girls would be allowed to play sports in public school and have access to physical education classesfor the first time. The powers of the kingdom’s religious police have also been curtailed, and they are officially no longer allowed to arrest people.

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