Bandr Swed's video inspired two other Saudi men to carry out a campaign of their own / Still from YouTube video/Saudi Free B.H
Still from YouTube video showing Bandr Swed during his 'Free Hugs' campaign / Saudi Free B.H
Still from YouTube video showing Bandr Swed during his ‘Free Hugs’ campaign / Saudi Free B.H

Two Saudis have been detained in the country’s capital for offering free hugs to passers-by. The local police arrested them for ‘indulging in exotic practices’ and offending public order.

One of the campaigners announced on Twitter that he would offer free hugs to the public on Tahlia Street, a popular shopping area in Riyadh. The men advertised free hugs on a placard, Al-Hayat newspaper reported.

Later, they were arrested by the religious police, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, who are charged with ensuring that Sharia law is strictly obeyed.

Bandr Swed's video inspired two other Saudi men to carry out a campaign of their own / Still from YouTube video/Saudi Free B.H
Bandr Swed’s video inspired two other Saudi men to carry out a campaign of their own / Still from YouTube video/Saudi Free B.H

The two had to sign a pledge that they would not offer hugs again.

Both men participate in the free hugs movement established to ‘brighten up’ people’s lives, which started after a young Saudi man, Bandr Swed, posted a video of himself offering hugs to male strangers on YouTube. The footage got almost 1.5 million views in just a couple of days.

“After seeing the Free Hugs Campaign in many different countries, I decided to do it in my own country. I liked the idea and thought it could bring happiness to Saudi Arabia,” the man told Al Arabiya.

The video reportedly inspired two young Saudis, Abdulrahman Khayyal and a friend, to start their own campaign on the Saudi streets.

Later, they were arrested by the religious police, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, who are charged with ensuring that Sharia law is strictly obeyed.
Later, they were arrested by the religious police, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, who are charged with ensuring that Sharia law is strictly obeyed.

The country’s religious police force which prevented them from carrying out their campaign is called Mutawa, and its responsibilities include preventing women driving, enforcing modest dress codes, policing bans on public entertainment and making sure all businesses close for prayers five times a day.

The police reacted to the complaints of the local families and individuals who reported the men’s actions.

RT

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  • cos

    Those are the minds of so called ARab world full of terror and restriction

  • Olweny Chic

    Be slow my brother to condemn the Saudis. Even in Uganda, I would not wish to see in the name of freedom acts that lead to sodomy, rapes, prostitution going on unchecked. I would have been proud to be in good conscience building nation than that which destroys as our Uganda. Not every imported practice is beneficial for the good morals. I like the spirit of the Saudi nation although the means of their execution needs to be regulated.
    Terrorists are in Uganda, terrorizing Lukwago, terrorizing the electoral process, frustrating the inherent freedom of expression. Reason is not worshipped any more to settle diffrences.

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