Saudi Men Arrested For 'Flirting"
Saudi Arabia's prosecutors arrested 57 young men Thursday for flirting with girls in malls in the holy city of Mecca reported the BBC.
The young men were arrested upon the request of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice for wearing indecent clothes, playing loud music and dancing inappropriately, reported the Saudi Gazette.
The AFP reported Members of the commission, known as the Muttawa, patrol public areas to ensure the kingdom's brand of conservative Islam, Wahhabism, is enforced. This includes strict segregation of the sexes.
Some of the arrestees’ guardians said the young men regularly got together at the weekend to have fun and did not violate laws governing the segregation of the sexes, the commission stated.
However, the commission received reports of 'bad' behavior, which led to the arrests.
The BBC reported symbols, such as red roses, were banned from sales by authorities earlier this week in an attempt to crack down on Valentine's Day. The day is considered a "pagan Christian holiday" and the celebrations of the event are believed to encourage premarital relationships, which are punishable by law in Saudi Arabia, the BBC reported.