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Saudi 'mixed party' clip goes viral, partygoers arrested

Curated by Yousuf Saifuddin Kapadia
Filed on December 27, 2016 | Last updated on December 27, 2016 at 06.35 am

(Screengrab)

Iconic structure helps identify location of the 'mixed party'

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have used a viral party video to identify and arrest partygoers in the country.

A short clip of of the 'mixed party' uploaded on YouTube earlier this month caught the attention of authorities, including the police, after it went viral on YouTube.

The clip shows young men and women drinking alcohol and dancing together on the terrace of a building as Arabic music plays in the background.

Authorities have arrested one individual suspected of organising the party.

Although details of the party's location were not posted in the video, police were able to recognise the area from a flagpole seen in the video - identified as the Jeddah Flagpole, it is the world's tallest in the world at 70 metres after inaugurated in 2014, Saudi Arabic daily Okaz reported on Sunday.

During interrogation, the main suspect initially denied holding the party but later admitted that he had organised it and had invited many young Arab women and a foreigner.

A spokesperson for Makkah police said that the investigation team carefully scrutinised the clip to determine the location and many of the partygoers had been arrested after being identified.

The case has been referred to public prosecution. Action has been taken to arrest the other participants.

Since being posted on December 20 (Tuesday), the video has garnered over 8,000 views.

Saudi Arabia has a very strict policy about the mixing of men and women, not related by blood, and the sale or serving of alcohol.

This is not the first time the country has taken action against such parties. Earlier this month, police arrested foreigners for organising a mixed party and serving alcohol in a Riyadh party.

In February this year, six women and five men are sentenced to 300 lashes and a year in prison in Saudi Arabia after neighbours reported them for having a party at a beachside villa, Daily Mail reported.

In 2015, a group of young men were detained for dancing at a birthday party and referred them to prosecutors, AP had reported Sunday, citing a state-linked media report.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice (Haia) had raided a house and arrested the men for "loud music and inappropriate dancing", then referred them to prosecutors, AP reported.


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