3 years, 450 lashes for Saudi man seeking men on Twitter


Scene at a training session of the Saudi Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.
Scene at a training session of the Saudi Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.

Gay Asia News reports:

“A man has been sentenced to three years in prison and 450 lashes by a court in Saudi Arabia for using his Twitter account to meet with gay men.
“The 24-year-old unnamed was arrested after he posted several tweets calling for same-sex relations and expressing his readiness to meet gay men, according to a Gulf News report that cited local daily Al Watan.”

In its account of the same incident, IB Times states:

“Saudi Arabia’s religious police — the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice — used an undercover agent to apprehend the man. His 450 lashes will be administered in 15 sessions. …
“Saudi Arabia is governed under a strict Wahhabi interpretation of Islam and homosexuality is illegal in the country, as it is in the neighbouring Gulf Cooperation Council states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, United Arab Emirates and Qatar  — due to host the 2022 World Cup Finals. Any man convicted of same-sex intercourse can also face life imprisonment or death by beheading and crucifixion under strict Sharia law. …
“Ironically, the country’s laws forbidding the sexes to mingle in public is believed to encourage Luwat (homosexual intercourse) because it is far easier to meet people of the same sex. Some areas of cities like Jeddah and Riyadh are said to have a number of ‘cruising areas’ and gay-friendly discos and coffee bars. However in 2002 three men were said to have been beheaded in the country for homosexuality.”

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.

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