Harassment incidents during Saudi National Day celebrations provoke widespread controversy

MENA

Published: 2021-09-25 10:20

Last Updated: 2021-10-17 18:03


Harassment incidents during Saudi National Day celebrations provoke widespread controversy
Harassment incidents during Saudi National Day celebrations provoke widespread controversy

People on social media circulated videos and photos of a number of harassment cases which occurred during the celebrations of the Saudi Arabia National Day. This prompted the Saudi Ministry of Interior to issue a statement in which it vowed to punish the harassers.

One of the videos showed a young man harassing a female after she came out of the window of a car holding and hoisting the Saudi flag, while he was approaching her and filming her. The video also showed the female trying to keep him away from her.

In another video, a large group of young men gathered around a woman and harassed her while she was trying to get away from them.

Additionally, another video showed a young man touching the body of a woman before another man came and stopped the harasser.

A video showed another case of mass harassment, in which a female who was wearing a black niqab and a black abaya, was harassed by a group of men.

According to the Saudi Public Prosecution, the penalty for harassment reaches up to two years imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 riyals (around USD 27,000).

In turn, the Saudi Ministry of Interior indicated Friday that the penalty will be increased to five years in prison, and a fine of 300,000 riyals, if harassment is repeated or practiced against certain groups, including children and people with disabilities.

Social media users demanded that the harshest penalties be imposed on the harassers who appeared in the videos.


Also Read: Saudi women take part in 91st National Day military parade celebrations


The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia celebrated Thursday its 91st National Day, with a military parade in the capital, Riyadh, in which women participated for the first time.

A woman watching the military parade said that is “a dream come true to see the [Saudi] woman different from before and moving forward. This dream truly came true and within years Saudi has changed 180 degrees.”

A man talked about the achievement saying, “Seeing your sisters, family members and people of this country showing this parade, is a thing we are proud of as Saudis. It is such a beautiful thing and a feeling we can't describe.”

Another woman said, “The developments happening are beautiful. New things are happening and Saudi is totally different this year, and with God's will it will be better in the coming years.”

The Saudi Ministry of Defense also announced the participation of four types of warplanes of the Saudi Air Force in the celebrations of this National Day, in addition to launching green fireworks in the sky of 13 cities of the Kingdom, starting at nine in the evening Mecca time.