RIYADH: Saudi officials have warned that anyone spreading baseless rumors on social media could face up to five years in prison and a hefty fine.
The warning came after a recent concert in Riyadh was canceled. Online reports after the concert said the women were sexually harassed as they were returning home.
Some women told the Western journalists they were afraid to post what happened after the concert on social media.
This situation is one of the latest developments in the cultural and social conflict in Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom has been a very conservative society but now it is trying to make it a society that hosts a large number of free entertainment programs. In this regard, the conservative sections of Saudi Arabia are opposing it at their level and they do not think that a sudden deviation from the traditional values of this society is a desirable act.
The long-awaited concert of pop and stray kids was scheduled to take place in Riyadh but was canceled at the last minute on the evening of January 14 due to strong winds.
After that, there were reports on social media that the girls had gone missing from the concert and there were also reports of sexual harassment. At least on the internet, there was panic. After that, hashtags started appearing on Twitter in this regard, which further increased the feeling of fear. But the truth is not yet clear.
Many who claimed to be present said that no such incident had taken place and that the organizers had managed well even in difficult circumstances. The head of the Saudi Entertainment Authority, Turki-al-Sheikh, later, mocked reports of harassment in several tweets, saying they were fabrications.