A man was arrested after he was caught-on-camera talking to a woman during his lunch break in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Video of the incident shows a woman approaching the man, who is reportedly a restaurant worker, outside a fast food restaurant. The 45-second clip drew outrage among people in the ultra-conservative kingdom calling the move “immoral.”
After the incident, police identified the man from the video and arrested him for his behavior.
“After a thorough investigation into the matter, officers identified the place where the incident happened. It is a fast food restaurant located behind a school,” said a police official.
He further said, “The woman seen in the video is a student at the school and approached the man during the lunch break, going against our norms and values. After police officers identified the man, he was arrested, investigated and punished according to our rules and regulations.”
The incident comes at a time as the kingdom’s crown prince, Muhammad bin Salman, vowed to destroy “extremist ideologies” in a bid to “return” to a more “moderate Islam.”
Although Saudi Arabia is moving towards reforms as it allowed women to drive and also announced that it will allow women into sports stadiums starting in 2018, there are some places where women are still being suppressed.
Women in the kingdom are not allowed to communicate or interact with unrelated men without the permission of their male guardians. They also don’t have rights in custody battles when the children reach a certain age.
It is also important to note that there is an ongoing crackdown on human rights activists in Saudi Arabia which make promises of a moderate Saudi Arabia appear hollow.
Thumbnail Credits : Reuters, Faisal Al Nasser