Filipina women detained in Saudi Arabia after going to Halloween party

  01 November 2018    Read: 1084
Filipina women detained in Saudi Arabia after going to Halloween party

Nineteen Filipina workers in Saudi Arabia have been detained after taking part in a Halloween party, the Philippines foreign ministry has said.

The women were taken into custody on Friday by intelligence officers who raided a compound in the country’s capital Riyadh after neighbours complained about the noise.

While it is not yet clear what charges they are facing, the foreign ministry noted Saudi laws bar unattached men and women being seen together in public.

Adnan Alonto, the Philippine ambassador in Riyadh, told the ministry initial information indicated the party’s organisers had been charged with hosting an event without a permit and for disrupting the local area.

Saudi Arabian authorities agreed to temporarily release the women who were arrested at the Halloween party raid, the Philippine's Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said on Tuesday.

The DFA said the women – who are all overseas Filipino workers – will be released and handed over to the custody of the Philippine embassy in Riyadh.

In an earlier report, the department said at least 17 Filipinas were detained after local officials raided the party in a private compound. The DFA gained the report from the Philippine Embassy which has been requesting access to the Filipinas, detained at the Al Nisa Jail since their arrest.

The DFA later confirmed that 19 Filipinas, rather than 17, were detained following the raid.

Mr Alonto said local authorities may file charges against the Filipinas for violating the Sharia law.

The DFA also reminded overseas Filipino workers in the Middle East to make sure they follow the local customs and laws of their host countries.

"Saudi laws strictly prohibit unattached males and females from being seen together in public," the DFA statement said. "Ambassador Alonto said the Embassy issued an advisory urging members of the Filipino community to be mindful of local sensitivities."

Saudi Arabia does not tolerate public worship by adherents of religions other than that of Islam.


The Independent

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