Saudi Police Detain 14-Year-Old After Viral Macarena Video

  • Video of boy dancing was widely viewed and shared online
  • Police release the teenager after father signs pledge

Saudi authorities released a teenager detained after a video of him dancing to the 1990s hit Macarena at a Jeddah traffic light was widely shared online, according to reports Wednesday.

The boy’s father pledged to make sure his son respects public decency rules, Sabq Online Newspaper reported. Neither were named but the boy was described as a legal Arab resident of the kingdom, it said, adding the video was published last year.

Saudi Arabia promotes a strict version of Sunni Islam that frowns upon Western-inspired habits or traditions. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is attempting to ease some of the restrictions as he seeks to develop an entertainment industry as part of a plan to reduce the economy’s reliance on revenue from oil exports.

Read More: Saudi Arabia’s Loosening Up Leaves Some Clinging to Tradition

The short clip showed a young boy, dressed in shorts and a striped t-shirt, with headphones on, dancing oh a zebra crossing as traffic stopped at a red light.

“Children aren’t to be punished by laws for adults,” Saudi writer Nora Shanar said on Twitter. It’s better to open special schools to foster such talents, she said.

— With assistance by Glen Carey

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