Saudi Arabia’s feared religious police entered a public park in the Gulf kingdom and told women to stop using swings, an act that drew applause and criticism by viewers of a picture showing the men warning some women at the swings.
The picture went viral on social networks in Saudi Arabia before it was published by newspapers showing two men from the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice warning women against using the swings.
“Some viewers of the picture supported the move by the Commission members on the grounds that women using the swing could encourage men to harass or molest them,” the Saudi Arabic-language daily Al Sada said.
“Others said they believe the act is not acceptable as it amounted to an unjustified interference and repression of women by the Commission.”
Saudi Arabia’s influential religious police also shut a restaurant in the conservative kingdom for various violations including allowing gender-mixing.
Members of the commission, backed by other police men and municipality inspectors, raided the restaurant in the western Red Sea port of Jeddah and ordered it shut indefinitely.