The selfie Image Credit: Social media

Manama: Saudi Arabia authorities have launched an investigation into a selfie taken by a teenager next to his grandfather lying dead at a hospital.

The young teenager posted the selfie on social media, with the caption "Good Bye, Grandfather", triggering a wave of condemnation and criticism by angry users who called for a prompt probe into the "immoral issue."

Users said the hospital officials should find out how the hospital failed to respect the dead man's dignity and how a child could take a selfie with him.

"The health authorities in Madinah are looking into the case and assessing whether the selfie was taken at a hospital in the area," Abdul Razak Hafedh, the head of public relations and media in the Madinah area, said.

"Should that be the case, action will certainly be taken against all culprits for allowing or failing to prevent such an immoral act. The security authorities will also be alerted to take action against the teenager for his irresponsible behavior and for his violation of public morals," he added, Saudi daily Al Watan reported on Wednesday.

Saud Al Harbi, a lawyer, said the teenager's behavior was a crime punishable by law.

"It is a terrible provocation of common feelings and a flagrant violation of public morals," he said. "The society completely rejects such attitudes that are not condoned in any way by its values or traditions."

Mansoor Hamed Al Hazmi attributed the selfie to a desire to validate a behavior that is contrary to social norms.

"This segment of teenagers is keen on shocking society by adopting outrageous attitudes, such as quarrelling, group fights, speeding, or raising the volume of the car radio. Some of them simply want to draw attention to themselves," he said.