Saudi Arabia man arrested for giving out free hugs
A man who decided to offer ‘free hugs’ in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh has been arrested by the state’s religious police.
Abdulrahman al-Khayyal went out onto the streets along with a friend carrying a placard saying ‘free hugs’, apparently inspired by a viral video of a campaign posted on YouTube earlier this week.
In that video Bandr al-Swed was filmed hugging young men, in a three minute clip that racked up over a million views in three days.
Inspired by the cuddling campaign, 21-year-old Al-Khayyal announced on Twitter that he was going to offer free hugs in Tahliya, one of the main shopping streets.
However the two men were arrested and their ‘free hugs’ banners seized, CNN Arabic reported.
Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice arrested the two men in Riyadh for violating local laws and engaging in “exotic practices”, Al Hayat newspaper said. They were then made to sign a pledge that they would not go out again.
Abdulrahman al-Khayyal posted a picture of him drawing the placard on his instagram account.
Despite this, al-Khayyal told The Independent that he would continue to give out free hugs and he was proud of what he had done. He said he considered it an act of charity.
The religious police in Saudi Arabia are tasked with enforcing the government’s Sharia law.
They are also known as the Mutaween and empowered to stop unrelated men and women socialising with each other, as well as any homosexual activity and prostitution. They enforce strict Islamic dress codes and dietary rules.
They have come under heavy criticism in the past, most notably in March 2002, when they prevented schoolgirls from escaping a burning school in Mecca because they were not wearing headscarves and abayas (black robes) and accompanied by a male guardian. Fifteen girls died and 50 were injured as a result.
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Putin opponent reveals Russian President's daughter's secret identity
Ball pool for adults opens in London
Gay couple buy JebBushForPresident.com web domain, and refuse to sell
Canadian woman suing police who locked her in van with sex offender who then raped her
- 1 Venezuela Expo Tattoo 2015: Extreme body art from 'Vampire Woman' to 109mm earlobes
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Canadian woman suing police who locked her in van with sex offender who then raped her
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Phase Co-ordinator for Foundation and Key S...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: SEN Teacher We have a fantastic special n...
Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an 11-18 all ability co-educat...
£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 6 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...