17 OFWS in Halloween party arrested in Saudi Arabia, says DFA
THE DEPARTMENT OF Foreign Affairs (DFA) has confirmed the arrest of 17 Filipino workers who participated in a Halloween party in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Citing information from the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh, Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato said the Filipinos are being held at the Al Nisa Jail in the capital.
Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Adnan Alonto said Embassy officials have been requesting access to the detained Filipinos since their arrest was reported last Friday. The Filipinos were among a number of people taken into custody by Saudi intelligence operatives, who raided a compound in Riyadh, after neighbors complained of loud noise coming from the Halloween party. The envoy noted that it was not immediately clear what charges have been filed against the detained Filipinos, but initial information the Embassy had gathered indicate that the organizers of the event have been 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.
The DFA and the Embassy issued an advisory urging overseas Filipino workers, particularly those in Middle East, to be mindful of local sensitivities.