At a time when the world is looking for ways to test coronavirus vaccines and medicines, an actress in Saudi Arabia has sparked a global outcry after she suggested using prisoners for testing drugs "instead of rats and monkeys."
According to the Gulf News, popular Saudi actress Maram Abdul Aziz courted controversy when she proposed that governments use prisoners "especially in cases related to security" and turn them into a "testing field for new medications" rather than rats and monkeys "that have done no harm to us."
The actress posted a tweet in Arabic on her official Twitter handle, which translates roughly to:
"If it were up to me, I would not just imprison and waste food, drinking and rehabilitation for those arrested especially in cases related to security," the 35-year-old said in the tweet. "I would turn them into a testing field for new medications even if the results were not guaranteed to punish them. Thus, the country would benefit from them. They should be used for testing instead of rats and monkeys that have done no harm to us."
Although the actress did not mention or indicate any particular country or nationality in her tweet, most people assume that she suggested the government of her own country Saudi Arabia to follow her advice.
Tweet sparks outcry
Maram's tweet has sparked an outcry and many people are accusing her of inhumanity and instigating hatred and violence against human beings.
One of the commenters compared her to Adolf Hitler, while another accused her of resorting to such a thing in order to gain cheap publicity. Many even suggested that she undergo the medical testing instead.
Maram responded to the scathing criticism saying that she has actually asked that all her body organs be donated after death.
In another response she tweeted: "As for clinical tests, they require healthy and recovering people and that doesn't apply to me."
But none of the actress' responses and even her donation announcement seem to have mitigated the backlash against her as people continued bashing her on Twitter.
"Pardon me! When you understand what humanity means, then donate what you want!" said a woman named Raghda.
The commenter even thanked the ongoing coronavirus pandemic for exposing humankind and unmasking their ugliness.
"Thank you corona and social media for having exposed humankind and unmasked their ugliness!" wrote Raghda.
Following the severe criticism, the actress has now deleted the post.