Girl held in Saudi Arabia for posting photo without hijab on Twitter

A Saudi woman in her 20s has been arrested by the police for tweeting her photo without hijab.

The news has been published in local Arabic-language Al-Sharq newspaper and reported by ‘The Guardian’ of UK.

The report says the girl in question is Malak-al-Shehri as mentioned by Fayaz Al-Maiman, a spokesman of Saudi police.

The police officer said the girl had been mentioned by the same name on different websites.

The photo that has caused a backlash among netizens in Saudi Arabia, shows Shehri posing on a street in Riyadh wearing a colourful dress with an overcoat on top.

Many of the critics have demanded arrest of the girl terming her “#rebel Shehri” while many of them have gone to the extent of demanding death for her.

On the contrary, one section of people have hailed Shehri’s move comparing her to Rosa Parks, the first lady of the civil rights movement in the United States.

Facing the vitriolic reaction, Shehri took down the photo and deactivated her twitter account, but she was arrested after a specific complaint, reports ‘The Guardian.’

The police spokesman told the newspaper that Shehri was taken to prison for “violations of general morals.”

The way Shehri has exposed herself without wearing the head scarf in front of a Riyadh cafe is unacceptable in the Saudi society, he said.

The complainant also accused her of “speaking openly about prohibited relations with (non-related) men”.

The law of the conservative Kingdom prohibits women from going out of house without wearing abaya (body-length robes) and hijab (head scarf).

The country also imposes a ban on women driving motor vehicles, a law the country’s women had been protesting against for a long time.

Thousands of Saudis signed a petition in September that demanded the government abolish the “guardianship system,” which prevents women from engaging in fundamental tasks without the permission of a male relative.

Last month, Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal broke with norms and called for lifting of the ban on women driving.

“Stop the debate,” he wrote on Twitter. “It’s time for women to drive,” reports The Guardian.

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