For the grievous crime of dressing up in women’s clothes at a party, 67 men have been arrested and face a sentence of whipping and jail.
The men in question were all Filipinos working in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a state well known for its medievalism.
According to reports from the embassy of the Philippines, the men all attended a private party at a resort near Riyadh, consuming alcohol and dressing up in clothes contrary to their natural gender.
Under the Sharia codes the kingdom vigorously enforces, both their consumption of alcohol and their cross-dressing antics are serious crimes, each carrying a maximum sentence of a lashing and a 6 month prison term. Fortunately, none of the men were convicted of the far greater crime of homosexuality.
The men were handed back to their employers for safe keeping.
Close to a million Filipino workers reside in the kingdom, and at least a quarter of the kingdom itself is comprised of resident foreigners; these groups enjoy very few of the scant rights granted Saudi citizens.
Slavery was itself only abolished in the kingdom in 1962, so it is not hard to imagine what role these migrants are expected to fulfil…