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Dressing 'distastefully' will now land you a fine in Saudi Arabia

Bad fashion is now a crime in Saudi Arabia [Getty]

Date of publication: 25 May, 2019

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A new code that is being implemented in Saudi Arabia means dressing 'distastefully' could result in a fine of 5000 riyals.

Wearing “distasteful clothes” in Saudi Arabia will result in a fine of 5000 riyals ($1334), authorities said, after annoucing a new social code that is due to be implemented in the ultra-strict kingdom on Saturday.

The new code, which applies to all those seen in public places within the kingdom aims to regulate how people act and dress to ensure a sustained “image” of the country.

People in all spaces, including shopping centres and hotels, must now adhere to this cryptic code of ensuring they are representing the kingdom with both dress and behaviour.

According to the new code, people could face a fined for wearing an “undeclared” item of clothing that has pictures, signs or expressions that offend public taste, writing or drawing graffiti on public walls, unless authorised by the correct authority and saying or making statements that may be interpreted as intimidating and harmful.

If the same offence is repeated within the space of a year, the fine will be doubled to 10,000 riyals ($2668). 

Those who are issued a fine under this new code may appeal to the courts.

The code does not expand as to what kind of clothes or statements may be seen as offensive to the “public taste”, sparking fears that this broad spectrum may be used as a smokescreen to target individuals under obscure legal conditions.

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