An anonymous woman in Saudi Arabia receives a two-year sentence in prison for hugging a male singer on stage during a concert.
The woman, emotionally excited by the singer and the band, rushed to the stage to hug his favorite singer while wearing a niqab veil. The Iraqi singer and composer Majid Al Mohandis warmly opened her arms for the woman for a sincere hug.
— جريدة النهارالكويتية (@naharkw) July 13, 2018
The woman was primarily accused of harassment but her hugging a man in public is considered a tougher offence against the Saudi Arabian religious laws.
The incident occurred when Majid al-Mohandis, Iraqi singer and composer, was performing on stage. The leaked video shows the woman holding on to Mr. Mohandis until security staff pulled her back.
Saudi Arabian women are not allowed to mix or touch men with whome they have no close familial relationship. The woman, arrested earlier this month, received a sentence of two years in prison and $27,000 fine for the offence.
Local newspaper Al-Madina reported today that the woman, whose name has not been divulged, was arrested for public offence. The report explains that the woman acknowledges the hug while saying it was an emotional incite.
Saudi Arabia, which used to ban all women form driving cars and attending in stadiums along with many other sexist laws, has made trivial reforms towards gender equality. The recent changes, however, are far from the ideal point.
The reports indicate that security is not the case on this issue. Prosecution of a woman for touching a man, and giving her a 2-year sentence, is unheard in any other place in the world. The roots of injustice must be sought in the country’s religious fundamentalism.
The woman’s excitement and invading the privacy of a man might be put to justice. But two years in prison for hugging a man along with monetary fining could be nothing other than sexism, violation of human rights and misogynism.