World News

Man arrested for having breakfast with female colleague in Saudi Arabia

Man arrested for having breakfast with female colleague in Saudi Arabia

A hotel worker in Saudi Arabia has been arrested and threatened with deportation for filming himself having breakfast with a female colleague.

Saudi Arabia enforces strict segregation laws banning men and woman from sitting together in nearly all public and work places unless they are related. Most public places, including public transport and offices, are segregated so that women can not mix with men they do not know.

The ministry said the hotel owner had also been summoned for failing to adhere to government regulations that stipulate a gender-segregated workplace.

The man was identified as an Egyptian national.

A viral video showed an Egyptian man eating breakfast next to a woman wearing a full-face veil, who many assumed to be a Saudi.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Development said Bahaa was arrested for appearing in an "offensive video" and said rules "regulating women's placement at work" were violated, according to CNN.

Men and women who are not married or close relations must sit separately from each other.

More news: US backtracks on Russian spy suspect offering sex for access

Women are not allowed to carry out most activities without being accompanied by male guardians, usually a father, husband, brother or even a son.

The Arabic hashtag "an Egyptian having breakfast with a Saudi" has been used over 113,000 times on Twitter.

As sad as it sounds, some residents were furious as only the man was being punished. "Laughter, eating at the workplace. where are your limits?"

The authorities have accused the man of failing to respect the country's values and traditions.

In Egypt, many people reacted with surprise at the outcry from Saudi Arabia and wondered how anyone could be arrested for what they regarded as an innocuous video.

It was unclear whether the woman in the video had been arrested. Because he was Egyptian and she was Saudi.


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