Faith and religion / Middle East / North Africa

Saudi police arrest 35 at alleged ‘gay party’

Location of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia (Courtesy of Google Maps)

Location of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia (Courtesy of Google Maps)

The Saudi Arabian news website The Peninsula Times reports

Police arrested 35 people early Friday morning [April 4] during a party allegedly for homosexuals.

Among those arrested … at a beach resort, were a group “of men wearing women’s clothes,” according to Al-Weeam website. The arrests were made in a joint operation between the police and security officers of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (Haia).

Neighbors allegedly contacted Haia officials complaining of the loud music being played at the party, in the Al-Samer neighborhood, East of Jeddah.

The police took the arrested to the Samer Police Department and withheld the dresses and the music equipment until an investigation is complete.

Gay Asia News added:

What has became of the men arrested is not known.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice [Haia] violently enforces Islam’s strictest interpretation of Sharia law in Saudi Arabia.

Essentially a militia, it comprises of some 3,500 members who patrol streets, hotels and even private homes. …

LGBT rights in Saudi Arabia are nonexistent. Same-sex relations are taboo and punished with imprisonment, fines, corporal punishment, torture, capital punishment, and chemical castrations. Transgender men and women are viewed as being gay and suffer the same fate.

Even government officials and those from the royal family are not immune from criminal sanctions for same sex relations. …

Image from Russian news video about Ali Ahmad Asseri (Photo courtesy of RT)

Image from Russian news video about Ali Ahmad Asseri (Photo courtesy of RT)

[In 2010] a gay diplomat named Ali Ahmad Asseri applied for asylum in the United States after the Saudi government discovered his sexuality. It is unclear how many people have been executed or actually arrested for same-sex relations as they are often combined with other offences.

Recent reports say of a Yemeni executed for same sex relations as well as murder in 2013 and a 27-year-old Saudi man sentenced in 2010 to five years in prison, 500 lashes of the whip and a SR50,000 ((US$13,334) fine after appearing in an amateur gay video online allegedly taken inside a Jeddah prison.

Ali Ahmad Asseri, currently living in Los Angeles and working as a security guard, is appealing the denial of his asylum application by United States officials.

7 thoughts on “Saudi police arrest 35 at alleged ‘gay party’

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