A Saudi activist who posted a picture of herself outside without a hijab has been arrested. Malak al-Shehri, 21, posted a picture of herself on Twitter without her government-mandated abaya (long cloak), instead wearing a jacket and a mid-calf length dress. The picture was taken in downtown Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia.
Someone filed a complaint with the police and she was arrested on Monday.
“Police officers have detained a girl who had removed her abaya on al-Tahliya street, implementing a challenge she announced on social media several days ago,” police spokesman Colonel Fawaz al-Maiman told local newspaper Al-Sharq.
Conservative twitter users demanded her arrest and punishment with some going so far as to call for her death.
Other Twitter users praised her courage in the face of repression and death threats.
Saudi Arabia enforces strict modesty dress codes on women and a host of other restrictions routinely decried by activists as gender apartheid.
Saudi Arabia’s restrictive policies towards women are so widely known that they were lampooned in a musical number by the popular TV show American Dad: