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Saudi Arabia Has Released The Woman Detained For Wearing A Miniskirt In A Viral Video

Some Saudis had been demanding that she should be punished, while others defended her.

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Updated on

Over the weekend, a Saudi woman uploaded a video of herself on Snapchat, which showed her walking around a historic fort in a village north of the capital, Riyadh, while wearing a crop top and a miniskirt.

Less than 24 hours after she posted the video, Saudi Arabia's Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice — the kingdom's morality police — said that it was working with authorities to investigate her.

المتحدث باسم #هيئة_الأمر_بالمعروف بـ #الرياض: الرئاسة رصدت مقطع لفتاة بلباسٍ مخالف، وجرى التنسيق مع الجهات المختصة.… https://t.co/7hMUVmfiGT

"Spokesman of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in Riyadh: The Presidency has identified a video of a girl in a different kind of dress, and is coordinating with the authorities to investigate it."

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On Wednesday, a day after arresting the woman, Saudi authorities released her without charge.

Saudi Arabia says woman detained after wearing a miniskirt in a video has been released without charge. https://t.co/qYtJpz2p64

Earlier this week, the arrest warrant issued by Riyadh police, which was shared by Twitter users on Monday, said the woman was "disrespecting and violating the teachings of Islam."

There's an arrest warrant. I refrain from commenting, because of course, this is all very logical.… https://t.co/KlzEN385R2

Some Saudis have been demanding that the woman be punished.

#مطلوب_محاكمه_مودل_خلود لأن تصرفها همجي! لازم تحترم القانون اعجبك او ما اعجبك! >لو كل واحد تمرد على القانون لأنه مو… https://t.co/1UTBKIO4T3

"We demand that Khoulud be tried because she acted irresponsibly. Whether you like it or not, you have to respect the law. If everyone rebelled against the law because they did not like it, it would be a mess."

يجب ان لاتطلع في بلد محافظ بهذا الشكل ، عليها احترام القوانين ، ولاا سوف يكون مصيرها معروف #مطلوب_محاكمة_مودل_خلود

"She must not go out wearing [clothes] like this in conservative countries. She must respect the laws or else her fate will be decided."

Some took a dig at "liberals" and human rights groups.

بصراحة الموضوع كذا ما ينسكت عنه ، والحين الحكوكيات يدافعن عنها يقولون حرية شخصية لا مو كذا الحرية… https://t.co/iyIvk1oidF

"Frankly we cannot remain silent ... now human rights activists will defend her and will say this is personal freedom."

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هذه مطالب الجالية الليبرالية الجاهلية -إمرأة خالعة -سينما مختلطة -أغاني ورقص هذه هي التنمية عندهم! لا صحة ولا تعليم. #مطلوب_محاكمه_مودل_خلود

"These are the demands of the liberal community.

- A naked woman

- Co-ed movie theaters

- Songs and dance

This is how they understand development! No health or education."

But others are calling her "brave," and defending her right to wear what she chooses, by posting images of Melania Trump and Ivanka Trump during their trips to the kingdom.

#مطلوب_محاكمة_مودل_خلود المجتمع السعودي ينضح بالتناقضات فهو يتغنى ب إبنة ترامب ساعات طوال ، ويكفر ويقذف فتاة سعودية… https://t.co/dZovO7s3kb

"The Saudi community displays contradictions. It does not mind that Trump's daughter walks in similar dress for hours. But they insult a Saudi girl and demand that she be tried."

#مطلوب_محاكمة_مودل_خلود ماشوف فيه فرق بين صورتين ١- بنت ترامب امام الشاشات ونحن ندعم حقوق المرأة 🤔٢-خلف الشاشات و… https://t.co/bdXkoiI1WM

"I don’t see any difference between those two photos: 1- When Trump’s daughter is on TV screens, we support women rights. 2- But nobody cares about the Saudi woman because she is not on TV, and they are calling for her arrest.

One user, whose post has been shared more than 1,700 times, photoshopped an image of Ivanka Trump on the Saudi woman's body, and wrote: “Okay stop, we have solved the problem."

#مطلوب_محاكمة_مودل_خلود خلاص يا جماعه انحل الموضوع .

Another woman pointed out the hypocrisy of those who are calling for the Saudi woman's arrest, saying that she would have been treated differently if she had been a foreigner.

لو كانت اجنبية كان تغزلوا بجمال خصرها وفتنتة عيناها .. بس لانها سعودية يطلبوا محاكمتها ! #مطلوب_محاكمة_مودل_خلود

"If she was a foreign girl, they would be courting to her beauty and her pretty eyes, but because she is a Saudi they demanded that she be tried."

Saudi Arabia requires women to wear long robes, known as abayas, when they are in public. Most Saudi women also cover their hair and their faces with a veil.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to the woman for comment about her video.

Munzer al-Awad is a journalist based in Istanbul.

Contact Munzer al-Awad at munzer.alawad@buzzfeed.com.

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