A Saudi actor and TV personality found himself on the wrong side of the country’s strict penal code after posing for ‘selfies’ with a group of female fans at a mall, according to Saudi news sources.
According to The Gulf Times, Abdul Aziz Al Kassar was taken into custody from the popular Al Nakheel Mall after he was seen taking pictures with a crowd of fans by Saudi Arabia’s strict “Mutaween,” or religious police, also referred to as the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice or CPVPV.
Al Kassar, 27, a Saudi national who lives in Kuwait, traveled to Saudi Arabia for work, when he posted on his social media channels that he would be visiting the mall.
Once he arrived, his fans flocked to him asking for photographs and posing for ‘selfies’ with him.
A video posted to YouTube shows Al Kassar surrounded by women calling his name and taking pictures, when a man dressed in white robes grabs him by the arm and leads him away.
Al Kassar was charged with “disturbing public order, mixing with women unrelated to him and abusing social media,” according to The Gulf Times.
He was later released on bail pending an investigation into his use of social media to find and meet with women.
Authorities also took away his mobile phone but later returned it to him.
In an interview with Gulf Rotana, a Saudi- owned TV station, Al Kassar said, “I did not expect to find so many people waiting for me. I want to clarify that the presence of young women at the mall was not something under my control.”
Al-Kassar also complained that religious police should have forewarned him about the large number of fans who had gathered to see him or advised him to stay away.