Another viral Saudi video of young men sexually harassing two young women sparked controversy, after social media users circulated news that the two women were arrested for "violating public decency."
#عاجل— فهد سعود العنزي (@fahad_059) February 29, 2020
صرح المتحدث الإعلامي لشرطة منطقة القصيم، بأنه وبالإشارة إلى ما تم تداوله عبر وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي، عن قيام فتاتين بمخالفة الذوق والآداب العامة، فقد تم تحديد هويتهما وضبطهما، (مواطنتين في العقد الثاني من العمر)، واتخاذ الإجراءات النظامية بحقهما.
Translation: "Al Qassim police's spokesperson stated that the two 20-something-year-old women who appeared in the viral video have been identified and arrested for offending the public taste. Necessary legal procedures will be taken."
The video that was widely shared, featured two young women angrily yelling at men who were sexually harassing them while a crowd watched closely and filmed the incident.
In the video, the two women can be seen fully covered wearing headcovers and traditional loose, long robes called abayas. According to social media commentators, the abayas were not "fully closed".
While many on Twitter condemned the harassment and called on officials to arrest the men, others seemed to justify the assault saying that the abayas worn by the two women were "indecent and violate public decency."
ما احد قالها تطلع بعباية مفتوحة وحجاب لفة مب مربوط صح وبدون نقاب وبدون محرم ومتربجة وتروح اماكن مختلطه، وبعدها تقعد تصرخ،— محارب ⚔️ (@A50_1S) March 1, 2020
خلاص هذا المكان معرف من بتشوف فيه،
Translation: "They shouldn't have gone out wearing an open abaya and a loosened headcover. They are out in a mixed place with no face cover, no male-companion, and wearing makeup, and now yelling? Why did they go there?"
لو انها مستتره مااحد تكلم عليها— مشاري المهلكي (@MshariAlmhlki) February 29, 2020
Translation: "This wouldn't have happened if they were fully covered."
البنات هم المتحرشين ويلاحقون الشباب ويشهرون فيهم بالتصوير— ابوسلطان اليافعي (@saltan2331) February 29, 2020
يجب القبض عليهم كلهم
Translation: "The girls are the ones harassing the men, they're running after them and filming them. They all should be arrested."
Other social media users condemned such comments and demanded that the offenders who harassed the two women be brought to justice because of "their immoral behavior."
استغرب من الي يقول لو كانت مستتره لما صار ولا صار !!!!— كاتب متابع (@B_A_78) March 1, 2020
يعني تربية اهلك لك وما تعلمته من دينك ومبادئك واخلاقك ورجولتك وحرصك على بلدك وواجهة بلدك كل هذا تنسفها بنت غير محتشمه مثلاً في لباسها !!!
والله وبالله ان اغلبك يسافر للخارج ونحن نعرف لباس بنات الخارج ولا ترفع رأسك !!!
Translation: "I don't get those who say this wouldn't have happened if they were fully covered. What about your own morals and everything you've been taught by religion and principles? Your morals, your manhood, and your desire to be the best representative of your own country? Do you forget all of this because of a girl that isn't dressed properly? I bet you do travel abroad and see how women dress there and you don't dare say a word to them."
التحرش يعكس عدم احترام حق الآخر وخصوصيته وحريته!— طارق بن عزيز (@t_alaziz) February 29, 2020
Translation: "Sexual harassment reflects disrespect for others and their privacy."
A few hours following news of the women's arrest, a social media news account reported that the men in the video were also arrested.
Translation: "By orders of the Public Prosecutor, a number of men have been arrested after sexually harassing girls."
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