Rome, July 19 (IANS/AKI) Saudi Arabian Police have interviewed and released a model who sparked a furore when a video of her bare-headed and wearing an ‘indecent’ miniskirt were posted to Snapchat, the Saudi government said on Wednesday.
The woman, who has been named in media reports as Khulood, told police the video was posted on Snapchat without her knowledge, the Saudi Ministry of Culture said in a statement.
She was released without charge and the case has been closed by the prosecutor, according to the statement.
The news came soon after Italian junior Culture Minister Dorina Bianchi launched a petition on change.org calling for Khulood’s release.
Bianchi described as “courageous” Khulood’s stroll around an historic fort in Ushayqir wearing a miniskirt and cropped top which was initially shared on Snapchat at the weekend.
Ushayqir, about 155 km north of the capital Riyadh, in Najd province, is one of the most conservative regions in Saudi Arabia and is the cradle of Wahhabism – the austere form of Sunni Islam practised by the Saudi royal family and religious establishment.
The video of Khulood sparked heated debate among Saudis on social media.
Some Saudi Twitter users called for Khulood’s arrest for breaking the country’s strict dress code that requires women to wear full-length robes known as ‘abayas’ in public as well as a headscarf if they are Muslim.
But other Saudi Twitter users praised Khulood and insisted she should be allowed to wear what she wanted.