Saudis probe woman TV presenter over ‘indecent’ dress

The clip sparked a torrent of criticism from Saudis on social media, with the Arabic hashtag “naked woman driving in Riyadh” gaining traction

Riyadh: Saudi authorities have launched a probe after a female TV presenter wore “indecent” clothes while reporting on the end of a decades-long woman driving ban, triggering outrage on social media.


Shireen Al Rifaie a Saudi presenter with Dubai-based Al Aan TV, was being filmed when her abaya – a loose-fitting, full-length robe – was blown open by the wind, revealing her tight white pants and a croped blouse underneath.

The clip sparked a torrent of criticism from Saudis on social media, with the Arabic hashtag “naked woman driving in Riyadh” gaining traction.

The kingdom’s General Authority for Audiovisual Media on Tuesday said they had referred Rifaie to investigators, because of the video which showed her appearing in “clothing which was indecent, in violation of regulations and instructions”.

In March the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman declared that women only needed to dress modestly and not necessarily wear abayas.

“The laws are very clear and stipulated in the laws of Sharia [Islamic law]: that women wear decent, respectful clothing, like men,” he told CBS TV.

“This, however, does not particularly specify a black abaya or black head cover. The decision is entirely left for women to decide what type of decent and respectful attire she chooses to wear.”

Rifaie has dismissed the charge, telling news website Ajel that she was wearing “decent clothes”.

Ajel reported that Rifaie left the kingdom after the controversy erupted.

On Sunday, women celebrated taking the wheel for the first time in decades as the ultra-conservative kingdom overturned the world’s only ban on female motorists.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia sacked the head of its entertainment authority, following a conservative backlash against a russian circus featuring women wearing skintight leotards.

In April, Saudi sports authorities shut down a female fitness centre in Riyadh over a contentious promotional video that appeared to show a woman in figure-hugging gym clothes.

Later that month, the sports authority apologised over a promotional video of a WWE event that showed scantily clad female wrestlers drawing euphoric cheers from men and women alike.

– With Inputs from AFP

 

 

 

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