Tuesday 24 October 2017

Pair offering free hugs arrested in Saudi Arabia

Two men have been arrested in Saudi Arabia for offering free hugs to passers-by.

Saudi police have detained the two young men for indulging in exotic practices and offending public order in the capital of Riyadh.

Bandr al-Swed joined the free hugs movement aiming to brighten up people's lives by offering strangers hugs.

His YouTube video of him giving free hugs caused a sensation in Saudi Arabia and got almost 1.5million views.

"After seeing the Free Hugs Campaign in many different countries, I decided to do it in my own country," Mr Swed told al-Arabiya news.

"I liked the idea and thought it could bring happiness to Saudi Arabia."

Two other young Saudis, Abdulrahman al-Khayyal and a friend, followed suit and advertised the free hugs on a placard, in the capital city.

They were arrested by Saudi Arabia's religious police, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, whose task is to ensure that the strict sharia law is adhered to.

The pair had to sign a pledge that they would not offer hugs again, according to reports.

The Commission’s duties include preventing women from driving, ensuring businesses close for prayers five times daily, enforcing modest dress codes and bans on public entertainment.

Online Editors

Editors Choice

Also in World News