Filipinos Arrested in Saudi Arabia For Organizing Halloween Party

The Department of Foreign Affairs is verifying reports that 19 Filipino women have been arrested for organizing a secret Halloween party at a private resort in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh near midnight on Saturday.

The nineteen, together with five men from Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Yemen and Egypt, may face a jail sentence of not less than one year if charged with immorality or organized witchcraft activity, a report from Philippine Star said.

Witchcraft is an act punishable in Saudi Arabia with imprisonment and a fine, although the evidence will most likely be based on Halloween motif and costumes used during the private event.

A Facebook post of Humoud Al Fajrawi and shared by Patnubay Online showed videos of the Halloween party and people wearing costumes of ghosts and clothes with messages like “I will kill you.”

Some were wearing nun’s habits, with their faces covered in ghastly white linen.

A consul at the Philippine embassy in Riyadh, who requested anonymity, said yesterday that the incident had not been reported to them yet. The consul said the embassy is verifying the report and is prepared to extend legal assistance to the Filipinas.

The two Saudi male organizers reportedly invited the 19 Filipinas to the party. In turn, the Filipinas, whose identities were not immediately known, reportedly used social media to invite more of their friends to join the Halloween party, which is forbidden in Saudi Arabia.

According to the Facebook post, the Saudi police arrested the 24 after receiving a complaint from several citizens regarding loud music coming from the party area in Thumamah, Riyadh.

It also said some of those who attended the party were not informed that it was going to be a Halloween event. These people reportedly said that they went to watch a celebration and not a costumed Halloween Party.