A group of Saudi men has reportedly been arrested for dancing at a birthday party. The kingdom’s religious police, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia) raided a private residence in the ultra-conservative city of Buraydah, arresting the men for “loud music and inappropriate dancing”, state-linked news website Ayn Al Youm reported. The Haia has no jurisdictional power but it referred the men to police for investigation.
A hashtag on Twitter about the arrest went viral, with many Saudis ridiculing the raid and arguing the men were not caught drinking alcohol or partying with women, which are crimes under the kingdom’s conservative codes.
Others posted photos of Saudi royals performing a traditional sword dance to argue the arrests were contradictory, although supporters of the raid claimed that form of dance was socially acceptable.