Like its infamous driving ban on women, Saudi Arabia is also extremely strict about gender-based segregation.
The law not only prohibits unrelated men and women from mingling in both private and public settings, it also harshly punishes those who socialize with the member of the opposite sex who is not kin.
Therefore, when a short clip of a “mixed party” went viral in the Gulf kingdom, the moral police were quick to act and track down the partygoers who had appeared in the video, most of them wearing Western clothes and dancing on what appeared to be the terrace of a high-rise building.
The footage also showed several bottles and drinks, presumably alcoholic, on the table.
Unlike some other Islamic countries, Saudi Arabia has a complete ban on alcohol, applicable to both Muslims and non-believers.
As The Khaleej Times reports, the details of the party’s location were not posted in the video’s caption. However, the Jeddah Police assembled a special task force, reportedly led by Major-General Saeed Al-Qarni and supervised by Jeddah police chief Brigadier-General Abdulwahab Al-Asiri, to investigate the incident.
After analysis, the officials were eventually able to figure out the exact address — thanks to the Jeddah Flagpole, the world’s tallest flagpole since 2014, which was visible in the background.
So far, authorities have arrested a Jordanian man, who admitted inviting several Arab girls and an expatriate man to the party after initially denying the claims. According to a local newspaper, he was trying to flee the country.
The police also detained three women, including a Lebanese woman, for allegedly attending the booze party.
The Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution is now looking at the case and may proceed to press charges once all the partygoers are identified. In a country where women can be charged with committing adultery, fornication or prostitution just for interacting with men, the news does not bode well for those filmed dancing and drinking.
Watch the video that started it all below:
Thumbnail Credits: Reuters