New Delhi: When Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that she won't cover her head on her visit to Saudi Arabia, it became a headline.
Now, a picture showing Merkel standing next to Saudi king Salman with her hair blurred has been doing rounds on the social media. While some media reports stated that the picture is actually a doctored one, speculations are also being made that picture had appeared on Saudi Arabian state television.
A copy of the picture was tweeted by "independent Lebanese self-described geopolitical commentator" Sarah Abdullah, which went on to be retweeted more than 20,000 times.
Not a joke: The UN's newest member of the Women Rights Commission censored the German chancellor's hair when she appeared today on Saudi TV. pic.twitter.com/0QwDEArL5l
— Sarah Abdallah (@sahouraxo) May 4, 2017
Another media report claimed that the photo was actually created by a Facebook page called Khase News.
When they originally shared this image of Merkel's with her hair blurred out, the caption read, 'Just for fun'. They even clarified in the comment section that they were a satirical page and that the post was a joke, meant 'just for fun'.
Saudi Arabia is one the most oppressive regimes in the world and in the Middle East,” a spokesperson for Khase News told i. “The photo is criticising the fact that in Saudi it is forbidden for a woman to show her hair. “Yet when a powerful like Merkel comes, [the regime] does nothing about it.”
Meanwhile, the original photo of Merkel without her hair being blurred was released by the Saudi Press Agency.
Saudi Arabia’s human rights record has received widespread criticism, particularly after the country was elected to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in April 2017.
As human rights organizations have pointed out, men in the country retain control over many aspects of the lives of women.