Persecution of Homosexuals (Saudi Arabia)

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Note that this page may contain news regarding lesbian, gay, bisexual, transvestite, and transsexual people (LGBTT)

Nine young Saudi men are each sentenced to at least 2,400 lashes and at least five years in prison for "deviant sexual behavior"[edit]

Nine young Saudi men have each been sentenced to more than 2,000 lashes and at least five years in prison for deviant sexual behavior, a police officer said Sunday.

A court in the western city of Qunfuda on Saturday sentenced five of the men to six years in prison and 2,600 lashes. The men are to be flogged 52 times in 50 sessions, the officer said on condition of anonymity.

The four other defendants were sentenced to five years and 2,400 lashes. They are to be flogged 48 times in 50 sessions. There will be a pause of 15 days between each of the flogging sessions.

Police started tailing the nine men after reports that they were acting strangely, the officer said. He said police found that they were dressing in women’s clothes and engaging in deviant sexual behavior with each other. He said the nine confessed to the charges.

The conservative kingdom, where women are not allowed to drive and must be covered head-to-toe in public, follows a strict interpretation of Islamic law. Courts routinely order hands amputated for theft, and public execution for murder, rape, sodomy and drug trafficking.

Human rights organizations have criticized those penalties. They say defendants do not receive fair trials and often do not have access to lawyers.
Nine Saudi Transvestites Jailed
Associated Press, April 16, 2000

Saudi executes three Yemeni men found guilty of "committing the extreme obscenity of homosexuality and imitating women". They had also been convicted of molesting boys[edit]

Saudi Arabia on Friday executed three Yemeni men found guilty of engaging in homosexual acts and molesting young boys, the official Saudi Press Agency reported.

It quoted an Interior Ministry statement as saying that a court had found the three men guilty of "committing the extreme obscenity of homosexuality and imitating women,’’ in violation of Islamic rules which ban homosexuality.

The three men, who were put to death in the southwestern city of Jizan, had also been convicted of molesting boys.

Other ministry statements later said authorities also severed the right hands of a Nigerian man, a convicted pickpocket, and two Saudi robbers.

The Nigerian had been caught stealing from worshippers at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Mecca, while the two Saudi men had been convicted of break-ins at homes and shops.

The executions raised to at least 70 the number of people put to death in the conservative kingdom so far this year. Last year, Saudi Arabia executed at least 99 people for various crimes.

The kingdom applies strict Islamic sharia laws, also executing murderers, rapists and drug smugglers, usually by public beheading. The laws call for the amputation of the right hand for theft.

More than a hundred men are sentenced to imprisonment and flogging after being arrested for “deviant sexual behaviour” (they were arrested for dancing and “behaving like women” at a private party)[edit]

More than 100 men in Saudi Arabia were sentenced this week to imprisonment and flogging after being arrested in March for “deviant sexual behaviour”, the Human Rights Watch confirmed today.

The men were arrested for dancing and “behaving like women” at a private party in a rented hall, according to Al-Wifaq, a government-affiliated Saudi newspaper. The paper claimed the men were attending a gay wedding.

“Prosecuting and imprisoning people for homosexual conduct are flagrant human rights violations,” said Scott Long, director of Human Rights Watch’s LGBT Rights Program. “Subjecting the victims to floggings is torture, pure and simple.”

Two weeks after their arrest, 31 of the men were sentenced to prison terms ranging from six months to a year, and to 200 lashes each. Four men were sentenced to two years imprisonment and 2,000 lashes. Seventy others, initially released without sentencing, were summoned back and sentenced to a year in prison.

Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia and is punishable by imprisonment, corporal punishment or death. Last month, two gay men, Ahmed al-Enezi and Shahir al-Roubli, were beheaded after government officials claimed the men had killed a third man who had threatened to “expose” their relationship.
Gay Men Flogged and Tortured in Saudi Arrests
Patrick Letellier,, April 8, 2005

Authorities arrest 20 young men for "emulating women" after raiding a suspected gay wedding[edit]

Saudi authorities arrested 20 young men after raiding a suspected gay wedding in the southern town of Jizan, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The detainees, who were among some 400 men attending "the wedding party of two men" on Tuesday, had been "emulating women," the Al-Watan paper said.

In all, some 250 people were detained in the police raid on the party but the rest were later released.

Police had "arrested the wanted people and released those who have nothing to do with the matter," the paper quoted a police commander as saying.

Some guests were also seen chewing qat, an illegal narcotic widely used in neighbouring Yemen, on a hill above the square where the party was being held, Al-Watan said.

Homosexuality is illegal in conservative Saudi Arabia, which metes out strict punishments based on sharia, or Islamic law.
20 arrested at Saudi gay wedding
GayMiddleEast, August 16 2006

Two homosexual men are sentenced to 7000 lashes each after being convicted of sodomy[edit]

TWO men in Saudi Arabia have been sentenced to 7000 lashes each after being convicted of sodomy and have received their first round of punishment in public, a newspaper said today.

The men, who were not identified, were meted out an unspecified number of lashes in public in the the southwestern city of Al-Bahah on Tuesday evening, the Al-Okaz daily reported.

They were then returned to prison where they are to be held until the full punishment is completed, the newspaper added, without saying how many sessions this would involve.

Homosexual acts are illegal in Saudi Arabia, which metes out strict punishment based on sharia, or Islamic law.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking can all carry the death penalty in the kingdom, with public beheading the common form of execution.
Men get 7000 lashes for sodomy
Agence France-Presse, October 4, 2007

Ministry of Education Textbooks, 2007-2008 Academic Year: Homosexuality is one of the most disgusting sins and greatest crimes... The punishment for homosexuality is death... he should be stoned, or thrown from a high place"[edit]

"Homosexuality is one of the most disgusting sins and greatest crimes.... It is a vile perversion that goes against sound nature, and is one of the most corrupting and hideous sins.... The punishment for homosexuality is death. Both the active and passive participants are to be killed whether or not they have previously had sexual intercourse in the context of a legal marriage.... Some of the companions of the Prophet stated that [the perpetrator] is to be burned with fire. It has also been said that he should be stoned, or thrown from a high place."

Police arrest 71 gay foreigners at a Party held in Riyadh for wearing "indecent" clothes and conducting themselves in an "indecent" manner, and a further 55 men accused of homosexuality from a party held in Sihat[edit]

Saudi Arabian police are reported to have arrested 71 foreigners accused of homosexuality in the capital Riyadh. According to a report in the Arab daily, al-Quds al-Arabi, police raided a party in the al-Manar district of the capital and arrested the group.

Several residents are reported to have notified police about people who were doing things that did "not conform" with Islamic sharia law.

When police arrived they reportedly found people wearing "indecent" clothes and conducting themselves in an "indecent" manner.

Seventy Filipinos and one Yemeni were arrested by police.

A few weeks ago police arrested 55 young men accused of homosexuality at a party at a farm in the Sihat area.

Homosexuality and cross-dressing are widely seen as immoral acts and are treated as serious crimes.

While the kingdom has faced criticism from human rights organisations, it insists that it always acts in accordance with Sunni Islamic law.

Arabic translation of the book "Gay Travels in the Muslim World" renamed "Pervert Travels in the Middle East" by Arab publisher[edit]

Gay travel journalist Michael Luongo (pictured) received a mixed surprise last week when he learned that the Arabic translation of his 2007 book Gay Travels in the Muslim World was completed ahead of schedule -- with the word "gay" translated as "pervert."
. . .

Luongo said the translation, which was reported in the New York Post' s Page Six on Sunday, could interfere with his plans to promote the book in the Middle East in October.

"All of the gay rights organizations in the Middle East that I was planning to do events with, once they saw the word, were horrified," said Luongo. A more modern Arabic word for gay meaning "homosexual" or "same-sex" exists, but publisher Arab Diffusion deferred to their usual practice.

"The publisher said this is the word they've traditionally used," said Luongo.
. . .
He said that he asked Arab Diffusion to fix the problem, but the fate of so-called Pervert Travels in the Middle East remains unclear.

"It's already in print and they're starting to distribute it, but I don't know what's going to happen," said Luongo.
Book Translation: "Gay" Equals "Pervert"
Julie Bolcer, Advocate, July 13, 2009

Gay Saudi diplomat says his life is in danger and seeks political asylum in the U.S. after Saudi officials discover he is gay and has a Jewish female friend[edit]

A ranking Saudi diplomat told NBC News that he has asked for political asylum in the United States, saying he fears for his life if he is forced to return to his native country.

The diplomat, Ali Ahmad Asseri, the first secretary of the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles, has informed U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials that Saudi officials have refused to renew his diplomatic passport and effectively terminated his job after discovering he was gay and was close friends with a Jewish woman.

In a recent letter that he posted on a Saudi website, Asseri angrily criticized his country’s “backwardness” as well as the role of “militant imams” in Saudi society who have “defaced the tolerance of Islam.” Perhaps most provocatively of all, he has threatened to expose what he describes as politically embarrassing information about members of the Saudi royal family living in luxury in the U.S.
Gay Saudi diplomat: ‘My life is in danger’
Michael Isikoff, MSNBC, September 14, 2010

Saudi Prince could face execution in Saudi Arabia; not for murdering his male servant, but for being a homosexual[edit]

A Saudi prince accused of murdering his servant could face the death penalty in his home country over his alleged gay sex life, a court heard today.

Homosexuality is illegal under Saudi Arabia's sharia law code, an Old Bailey jury trying Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud was told.

At times the families of defendants in such cases have pushed for the most severe penalty because of the perceived shame, the court heard.
. . .
Bobbie Cheema, prosecuting, said: "Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia and carries the death penalty which is still applied in some cases.

"The country in which any alleged acts took place would have little bearing on the likelihood of prosecution as the Saudi legal system is based on the sharia law which is considered to be universal.

"Whether the defendant would be prosecuted is a matter for the Saudi authorities but would to some extent depend on the wishes of his family.

"There have been cases where the family have pushed for the most severe penalty, particularly where the individual is thought to have brought shame on the family.

"The defendant could be at risk from members of his own family who may feel that he has brought shame on the family.
Prince could face death penalty in Saudi Arabia
The Independent, October 15, 2010

Gay British nurse spends 6 months in jail on charges of homosexuality. Savagely beaten and tormented with the threat of being decapitated[edit]

A British man feared for his life after being arrested in Saudi Arabia on charges of homosexuality, it has emerged.

The male nurse, Stephen Comiskey, said he was savagely beaten and tormented with the threat of being decapitated.

He had moved to the socially-strict state in order to work for the King Fahad National Guard Hospital in Riyadh.

According to The Sun newspaper, religious cops lured the 36 year-old into an ambush by posing as friends. They then arrested him under the capital offence of homosexuality.

Saudi Arabia is a Muslim kingdom which operates under Sharia law.

According to reports, he was tricked into signing an Arabic confession – which he could not read – before having his passport confiscated. He then spent the next six months waiting to hear his fate.

He was finally allowed to fly home this week after diplomatic talks, The Sun report.

“You have to understand Sharia law to know what I’ve been through. I’ve learned that you don’t mess with these people - you cannot offend their culture or their law,” he said.

Diplomats believe his arrest was linked to the case of gay Saudi Prince Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud, last year.

Three Asian men arrested and due to appear in court for cross-dressing. They have confessed to using cosmetics and acting feminine[edit]

The Fujairah Public Prosecution referred three Asian men to court for cross-dressing, reported 'Al Khaleej' newspaper.

The men were arrested a few days earlier by police patrol as they were walking down the street dressed up as women.

They confessed to using cosmetics and acting feminine.
Three men held for cross-dressing in Fujairah
Emirates 24/7 News, May 01, 2011

Saudi police arrest 20 gays attending a wedding party in the southern province of Jazan[edit]

Saudi police arrested 20 gays attending a wedding party on the top of a hill, where more than 200 other wanted persons were also seized.

A large police force raided the wedding on the hill in the southern province of Jazan and rounded up 250 men, a newspaper said.

“Among those were 20 gays while the rest included wanted persons, some of whom are staying in the country illegally,” Almadina said
20 gays arrested at Saudi wedding party
Emirates 24/7, October 17, 2011

"They were caught dancing and hugging each other... Some of them wore dresses", 49 gays arrested during police raid on a rest house where they were staging a party[edit]

Saudi Arabia’s feared religious police seized 49 gays during a raid on a rest house where they were staging a party, the local press said on Sunday.

Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice stormed the rest house after receiving information about an “indecent” event taking place near a wedding hall in the western town of Taif.

Police raided the rest house at 4.00 am and arrested the 49, who included six Yemenis and Sudanese, as well as Saudis.

“They were caught dancing and hugging each other indecently and wearing obscene clothes,” the Arabic language daily Sabq said.

“Some of them wore dresses that show most parts of their bodies while others had tattoos on their hands and necks, including Satanist drawings.”
49 gays arrested in Saudi
Emirates 24/7, March 18, 2012

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice bans the entry of gay and "tom-boy" students to all public schools and universities[edit]

Saudi Arabia has decided to bar "gays and tom-boys" from its government schools and universities within a crackdown against the spread of this phenomenon in the conservative Moslem Gulf Kingdom, a newspaper said on Monday.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the most feared law enforcement authority in the oil-rich country, has been asked to enforce the new orders, Sharq Arabic language daily said.

“Instructions have been issued to all public schools and universities to ban the entry of gays and tom boys and to intensify their efforts to fight this phenomenon, which has been promoted by some websites,” it said.

The paper did not make clear who issued those instructions but said gay and tom boy students can go back to schools and universities if they prove they have been corrected and have stopped such practices.

It said high-level orders have been issued to the Commission to immediately enforce the new rules and to step up efforts to combat this phenomenon and other “unacceptable behavior” in public places.

Religious police permanently closes health club after arresting five local gays in a raid triggered by a tip-off about the club’s “suspected activities”[edit]

Saudi Arabia’s feared religious police shut a health club after seizing five local gays in a raid triggered by a tip-off about the club’s “suspected activities,” a newspaper in the Gulf Kingdom reported on Tuesday.

Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, the most influential law enforcement authority in the world’s dominant oil exporter, raided the club in the capital Riyadh and arrested the five gays.

“During the raid, they seized five gays, who possessed condoms…some of the condoms contained semen…..the authorities also decided to shut the club permanently,” Kabar newspaper said.
'Gay club' raided and shut in Saudi
Emirates 24/7, October 23, 2012

Police raid major hotel, arrest six Filipinos who had used their massage centre to “engage in homosexual acts,” confiscate condoms, creams and “contaminated blades”[edit]

Saudi Arabia’s Islamic police arrested six Filipinos who had used their massage centre at a major hotel in the Gulf Kingdom to engage in homosexual acts.

Members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice raided the “famous” hotel in the capital Riyadh after receiving a tip-off that the known massage centre was only a cover for “obscene activities”, Alsaudeh Arabic language daily said.

The paper said police men caught one Filipino with another man “red handed practicing obscene actions” in one room before raiding other rooms in the massage centre.

“They arrested six homosexual men and one customer who had creams and a condom with him…all the six are Filipinos.”

The paper did not identify the hotel but said police shut down the massage centre and confiscated condoms, creams and “contaminated blades”.
Filipino vice ring busted at key Saudi hotel
Emirates 24/7, January 6, 2013