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Saudi Arabian woman faces 2 years prison for hugging singer

July 24, 2018

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — A young Saudi Arabian woman has been charged in the western city of Taif with breaking the country’s anti-harassment laws for jumping on stage and hugging a popular singer as he performed.

Al-Madina newspaper reported Tuesday the woman, whose name and age weren’t given, was arrested earlier this month at a festival when Majid Almohandis, an Iraqi-born singer with Saudi citizenship, was performing his solo act.

A video of the incident circulating on social media shows the woman, wearing a face-covering niqab veil, running up to Almohandis and embracing him around the neck before being pulled away by security.

The paper reports the woman acknowledges hugging Almohandis but argues she was incited to do so.

She faces a possible two years in prison and 100,000 Riyal ($27,000) fine if convicted.

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