Seventeen women, all Filipina expats, were arrested after hosting a Halloween party in Saudi Arabia.
The group of women were all detained by Saudi intelligence officers who raided a Riyadh compound on Friday, according to the Philippines foreign ministry.
Neighbours had reportedly complained about the noise. It is not known what charges they face however the foreign ministry reiterated that Saudi laws prohibit unattached men and women from being seen together in public.
Adnan Alonto, the Philipinne ambassador in Riyadh, told the ministry it appeared organisers of the party had been charged with holding an event without permit and disturbing the neighbourhood, the BBC reported.
Mr Alonto has since issued an advisory reminding the Filipino population in Saudi Arabia to “refrain from organising or attending events or gatherings that are unsanctioned or without permission.”
He said: “In addition, everyone is reminded to avoid mixed crowds, consuming liquor, and holding public practice of traditions that are associated with religions other than Islam, such as Halloween, Valentines and Christmas.”
It is thought that some of the partygoers did not know the gathering had a Halloween theme.
The public worship of any religion other than Islam is banned in Saudi Arabia – despite the fact at least two million of the country’s expatriates are non-Muslims.