Saudi woman arrested for sharing photo of herself in a dress on Twitter

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A Saudi woman who shared a photo of herself on the streets of Riyadh while wearing a dress has been arrested and now faces being lashed, according to British media reports.

Malak Al Shehri shared a picture of herself in late November wearing a colourful dress and a black full-length coat.

All woman in Saudi Arabia are required to wear an abaya – a traditional, full-length body covering, according to the Daily Mail. They are also required to wear a hijab.

The photo caused a furor in the ultra-conservative country with some suggesting Al Shehri should be beheaded for her actions.

The tweet was shared by many including a 21-year-old student from the city of Dammam. She said Al Shehri was forced to delete her account.

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“So many people retweeted it and what she did reached extremists, so she got threats. She deleted her tweets but they didn’t stop, so she deleted her account,” she told the International Business Times over Twitter.

On Monday, The Guardian reported Al Shehri had been arrested.

The paper quoted a local media outlet as saying a person had lodged a complaint with religious police.

“Police officers have detained a girl who had removed her abaya on al-Tahliya street, implementing a challenge she announced on social media several days ago,” police spokesman Colonel Fawaz al-Maiman told Al-Sharq, a local Arabic-language newspaper.