Cairo: Saudi prosecutors have ordered the arrest of a man and a woman after they appeared in a video deemed in breach of public morals and Islamic values, Saudi media reported Monday.
The footage, which went viral online, shows a man clad in the traditional Saudi costume and headgear meeting a woman inside a living room and tells her to remove her abaya, a loose cloak often worn by women in Saudi Arabia.
“The time of abaya is over. This is the time of entertainment,” he tells the woman before he kisses her hand.
The video was filmed in Riyadh and the woman who appeared in it is a Jordanian fashion model, Saudi online newspaper Ajel said. Both are accused of violating and mocking public morality.
Governor of the Northern Region Prince Faisal Bin Khaled ordered the arrest of the man who seems to be a Saudi citizen, the paper added.
“Prosecution keeps a close watch on whatever violates religious values and public morals, and constitutes a crime liable to legal punishment according to relevant codes and regulations,” Saudi news portal Sabq reported, quoting a prosecution official.
In recent years, Saudi Arabia has introduced dramatic social reforms aimed at shedding the country’s ultra-conservative kingdom. Last year, Saudi Arabia allowed women to get behind the wheel, ending a decades-old ban on female driving.
Big-name performers from around the world have also given concerts in the kingdom as part of an ambitious scheme to diversify its oil-dependent economy.