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Saudi woman arrested for 'harassing men' on Jeddah Corniche

Saudi authorities have also cracked down on female activists [Snapchat]

Date of publication: 20 November, 2019

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The woman was filmed by a friend sat in a car, calling out at strange men from the window of the moving vehicle.
A Saudi woman has been arrested by local police for "harassment", after a Snapchat video surfaced of her flirting with men on the Jeddah Corniche, local media reported on Tuesday.

The woman was filmed by a friend sat in a car, calling out at strange men from the window of the moving vehicle. 

The woman, whose hair was visible contrary to traditions in the ultra-conservative kingdom, could be heard addressing men with flirtatious comments as she giggled and waved at them.

Saudi Arabia has long faced international criticism over its treatment of women.

Prince Mohammed has sought to ease restrictions on women with multiple reforms including a historic decree that ended a decades-old ban on female motorists. 

In August, Saudi Arabia also allowed women to obtain passports without seeking the approval of their "guardians" - fathers, husbands or other male relatives.

Read also: Saudi Arabia has more women's rights than the West, says Saudi princess

The move, part of Prince Mohammed's plan to revamp the national image, ended a longstanding rule that prompted some extreme attempts by women to flee the kingdom.

But observers say loopholes still allow male relatives to curtail their movements and, in the worst cases, leave them marooned in prison-like shelters.

Alongside a string of pro-women reforms, Saudi authorities have also cracked down on female activists. 

Nearly a dozen women campaigners, arrested just before the ban on women driving ended last year, are currently facing trial that has drawn criticism from Western governments.

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