Seven things that will get you arrested in Saudi Arabia
Jul 19, 2018
Dabbing, making wine and celebrating your birthday are just some of the obscure crimes in the conservative country
Women wearing the traditional abaya gown and hijab headscarf
A woman in Saudi Arabia has been arrested after running onto a stage and hugging a male singer mid-performance.See related Why expats are leaving Saudi Arabia in droves Eleven things women in Saudi Arabia cannot do
Majid al-Mohandis was performing at a festival in the western city of Taif âwhen the woman darted on to the stageâ, reports the BBC.
Videos posted online showed her holding on to Mohandis while security staff tried to pull her off him.
The incident âis unusual in the deeply conservative country, which has only just started letting women attend events such as music concerts and sports matchesâ, says The Independent.
The deeply conservative country has a whole host of strict rules and laws - here are some of the more obscure things you can be arrested for:
The popular dance craze that swept the globe in 2017 is prohibited as it may be considered as a reference to drugs and drug use.
A Saudi singer who was captured on video performing the move was recently arrested and the Saudi Arabian government has even released a poster warning young people of the dangers of participating in the craze.
A Saudi man was executed in 2012 on charges of âwitchcraft and sorceryâ.
âNo details were given about what he was found guilty of beyond the charges of witchcraft and sorcery, but he did also admit to adultery - another criminal offence in Saudi Arabiaâ, says the BBC.
In 2015, a 74-year-old British man was put in prison for mo re than a year for possessing homemade wine.
His family was worried he'd be subjected to public lashings, a traditional form of punishment in Saudi Arabia but he was eventually freed and returned to the UK after an online campaign.
Eating in the family section of restaurants if youâre on your own
Saudi laws state single men must eat in the menâs only section of the restaurant. Some restaurants âmight allow women to eat by themselves in the family section, although this is mostly frowned uponâ, says the travel website Expat Women. Most restaurants will only serve food to women ordering alone as take-away and not allow them to eat it by themselves in the restaurant.
Celebrating your birthday
Officially, celebrating religious or your own birthdays is banned in Saudi Arabia. The ban on birthdays âis in line with the strict interpretation of Islam followed by the conservative Wahhabi sect adhered to in the kingdomâ, says the LA Times. Al l Christian and even most Muslim feasts are also prohibited because they are considered alien customs the Saudi clerics don't sanction.
Homosexual acts, extra-marital sexual relations and being transgender are illegal and can be subject to severe penalties. The British government states that âtransgender people travelling to Saudi Arabia are likely to face significant difficulties and risks if this is discovered by the authoritiesâ.
Taking pictures of buildings or people
It is strictly forbidden from taking pictures of buildings or palaces while in the country. The Saudi Gazette, a leading English-language newspaper in Saudi Arabia, recently reported on the repercussions of street photography in the country. âTaking pictures as a hobby can lead you straight to prison if you violate the cybercrime law and post the picture online,â the paper writes.
It cites Article 3 of the 2007 cybercrime law, which says that anyone who takes a photo that violates someoneâs privacy rights and then posts the photo to social media should be punished with one year in jail or a fine of up to 500,000 Saudi Riyals (Â£100,000).Source: Google News Saudi Arabia | Netizen 24 Saudi Arabia