The Saudi authorities have arrested an Egyptian migrant worker, for "indecent" behavior contrary to Muslim morality: the man is in the police's sights, for having lunch in a hotel in the governorate of Jeddah (in photo) in a company of a woman colleague.
In the 30-second video, the man and woman briefly joke about eating their breakfast together, with nobody else invited.
Their employer was summoned and is accused of violating rules regulating women's placement at work, the ministry added. She is also seen feeding the man something that looks like a french fry.
"The Ministry of labor arrested Expat in Jeddah after he appeared in the infamous video", said the Ministry.
Behind the arrest the fact that the meal between the two colleagues was immortalized in a video shot by the same immigrant, posted online that immediately went viral.
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Government regulations stipulate that workplaces should ensure a private setting for female employees separate from males, but in practice this is not uniformly applied.
As the video sparked a torrent of criticism from arch-conservatives, the public prosecution urged expats in the kingdom to admire "values and traditions of Saudi society". If convicted he faces up to several years in jail.
This is in contravention of the law in Saudi Arabia, where in workplaces or eateries like McDonald's and Starbucks, families and single men have to sit in different areas. She was covered from head to toe in black Islamic niqab.
Long known for its ultra-conservative mores, the kingdom has tried to modernise its image with a programme of wide-ranging social and economic reforms, driven by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Apart from not being able to eat with the opposite gender, women in Saudi Arabia are also not allowed to do most things without being accompanied by their male "guardians".