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72 Filipinos arrested in Saudi for 'gay' behavior


MANILA, Philippines- Wearing drag at a private event may be harmless fun in many societies, but 72 Filipino men found out they could suffer imprisonment and lashing in Saudi Arabia for such activities after they were arrested for immorality recently.

An article in the Arabic news site said several “deviants," a term used by Saudi Arabia’s English-language media to describe people who engage in gay behavior, were rounded up during a concert inside a compound in an eastern Riyadh neighborhood.

The report quoted unnamed police officials as saying a "large number of foreign workers" were arrested in the incident, and 72 of them have Philippine citizenship.

Vice Consul Roussel Reyes of the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh told GMANews.TV by phone on Tuesday that they are still confirming the identities of the Filipinos and will seek their employers’ help to bail them out.

Open display of homosexual behavior is strictly prohibited under Saudi Arabia’s Sharia’h law. In extreme cases, such as when the unless the government feels that homosexuals are challenging state authority, the maximum punishment for the act is public execution.

Normally, however, other punishments such as fines, imprisonment, and whipping as alternatives. Individuals caught wearing even just one article of women’s clothing could face three to six months imprisonment, and suffer between 50 and 100 lashes with a rattan stick.

Reyes said nearly 50 other Filipinos have been arrested and jailed in the past for similar violations.

Only sponsors are able to bail out foreign workers who are imprisoned, as long as they provide assurance that the accused would show up in court during trial.

In August last year, Saudi Arabia’s Commission for the Propagation of Virtue and Prevention of Vice arrested several Filipinos in a gay party in the country’s eastern province for "lewd behavior" as well as possession of drugs and alcohol. Arrested foreign nationals are often deported after serving their jail sentence. - GMANews.TV


Diwata said…
sad... tsk3... but somehow, it must be understood that they are in a foreign country. One that has views and culture different from ours and they must conform if they want to work and live in their territory. Rules, no matter how unfair they may be, must be followed if they are working there. Their country, their rules...

I myself am a non-conformist and a deviant in some ways. But the case here in the RP is different from the KSA.
line of flight said…
i think the problem is that the Saudis typically ignore this type of thing in private compounds except when there are domestic economic problems, then the royals and the morals stir to action and round up somebody to distract from the shortcomings of the dictatorship. too bad it had to be gay OFWs this time.
Ming Meows said…
lets pray na lumambot ang puso ng mga law enforcers
meeps said…
Agreed, Diwata. Their country, their rules. Same in the Philippines, foreigners have not a single protected right (especially freedom of speech) if you read immigration laws..... only quicker ways to arrest and deportation. Theres several paragraphs with the sole purpose of sidestepping the Treaty of Versailles, meaning imprisonment w/o charges.

"line of flight" has a good grasp, they do it to stir the pot. Its hard to keep a slave/religious nation in these days of mass media and instant communication. Kuwait also does the occasional raid in this manner.
Anonymous said…
its always the case here in Saudi. If your "basbas" (Gay in Arabic) then you suffer the humiliation same as the rest of us in the world.

but here's the wirdest thing. the religious police called "motawas" who implement strictly the laws on Islam are the ones in fact engaging into homosexual activity. Ask any gay/bi whose been here in Saudi for the longest time, they can attest to that. In fact, bidang bida ang mga bading na pinoy dito. Wala namang paki alam ang mga Saudis sa ibang lahi ke Indiano, Pakistani, American, Briton, Bangaladeshi etc etc. They only single out the GAY Filipinos. I dont know but its really weird. Even i who has been here for more than 2 years now cant seem to explain as to why. =D

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