Saudi woman phone
Representational imageReuters File

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia may imprison a woman for posting a video of her husband flirting with a housemaid online.

The viral video shows an Arab man flirting with a housemaid in a kitchen. The wife, who long suspected his activities, secretly filmed the incident on her mobile phone. The jilted wife then published the video on her social media account with the caption, "The minimum punishment for this husband is to scandalise him" Emirates 24/7 reported.

While hundreds of online users have supported the angry wife, top Saudi lawyer Majid Qaroob Sada told the daily that she could be imprisoned for a year on defamation charges. "She faces up to one year in prison or a fine of SR500,000 (Dh50,000) for defaming her husband in line with the law on information technology crimes. This law includes stiff punishment for anyone using mobile phones with a camera or other equipment to photograph others and defame them," he said.

In the largely conservative society of Saudi Arabia, the increasing instances of Arab men marrying their housemaids are seen as signs of moral decay of society. The issue has gained so much prominence that newspapers in the country even write editorials on the issue.

In an opinion piece "Why do many Saudis marry their maids?" published in the Saudi Gazette, Dr. Abu Bakr Baqadir, former sociology professor at King Abdulaziz University observed: "...husbands have complicated personalities and want too much care from their wives. By care I mean accepted norms in society such as washing his clothes, cooking his favourite food and maintaining her looks. If the wife fails in giving the husband this kind of care, he will definitely start thinking about the maid, especially if the latter tries to show off her beauty, and he finds the care from the maid," he said.

Viral clip

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