A Saudi actor has been arrested by religious police after he was mobbed in a shopping mall by female fans trying to get selfies with him.
Abdul Aziz al-Kassar, a popular actor and TV presenter, had advertised his visit to Al Nakheel shopping centre in the Saudi capital Riyadh on social media, Gulf News reports.
Videos on YouTube and Twitter show him surrounded by fans, before he’s grabbed by a man in white robes and dragged off.
Kassar told the Gulf Rotana network:
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.
When I stepped in, several fans came over and surrounded me until someone came over and pulled me aside into a room that I learned was reserved for the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice inside the mall.
Adding: “I understood that the man who pulled me was a member of the commission and I did not resist him out of my respect for the Commission.”
— توثيق جرائم الهيئة (@HaiaWatch) October 24, 2015
According to The Independent, Kassar had his phone confiscated, and has been bailed pending an investigation into accusations of disturbing public order, ‘mixing with women unrelated to him’ (fucking hell) and ‘abusing social media’.
He says religious police ‘did not tell him to stay away’ from the mall, and that they should have warned him of the large number of fans congregating there.