DFA: Halloween partygoers in Saudi Arabia released

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By Camille A. Aguinaldo, Reporter

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Tuesday said the arrested Filipino women in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia were already released by authorities.

Earlier today, the DFA reported that some 17 Filipino women were arrested during a raid conducted by local authorities last week.

The Philippine Embassy in Riyadh stated the Filipinos were held in custody at the Al Nisa Jail in the capital after Saudi intelligence operatives raided a compound where a Halloween party was taking place. The compound was raided after neighbors complained about the noise from the party.

According to Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Adnan V. Alonto, embassy officials have also been requesting access to the detained women. He added that it was not yet clear on what charges have been filed against the detained Filipinos.

Initial information from the Embassy gathered that the organizers were charged with holding an event without a permit and for disturbing the neighborhood.

Saudi laws strictly prohibit unattached males and females from being seen together in public.

Following the incident, the DFA reminded overseas Filipino workers abroad to respect the laws and traditions of host countries. The Embassy in Saudi Arabia has also issued an advisory to the Filipino community in the country to be mindful of local sensitivities.