A foreign resident in Saudi Arabia was arrested by the country’s religious police on New Year’s Eve for displaying balloons to celebrate the New Year.

The man – described as an Arab expatriate living in the country – was arrested as he was walking though the streets in violation of the ban of celebrating the New Year in the ultra-conservative Gulf kingdom.

In December, Sheikh Abdel Aziz bin Abdullah, the country’s top Muslim cleric, deemed celebrations of the New Year, birthdays and marriage anniversary un-Islamic.

The arrest highlights the ongoing conservatism in the country, and comes after religious police have been cracking down on citizens for breaking “un-Islamic” laws in the country.

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