500 Lashes & Prison for Gay Saudi

A 27-year-old Saudi Arabian man is reported to have been sentenced to 500 lashes and five years’ imprisonment by a court in Jeddah for the criminal offence of homosexuality, among other charges.

He was already serving one year’s imprisonment after being convicted earlier this year on a separate charge of homosexuality, among other offences.

The man, whose name is unknown, was reported in the press to have been sentenced in recent days by a court in Jeddah to five years in prison, 500 lashes and a fine of 50,000 Saudi Arabian riyals (approximately £8,000) for the criminal offence of homosexuality, as well as offences of imitating women and possessing pornographic videos.

He was reported to have been sentenced after allegedly appearing in a video that was posted online and showed him dressed as a woman and talking about sex. The video was purportedly taken inside Briman prison in Jeddah, where he was serving his previous sentence of a year’s imprisonment, but the prison administration was reported to have denied that the short clip was filmed there.

The previous sentence of one year’s imprisonment was handed down in March 2010 for the criminal offence of homosexuality, impersonating a police officer and committing a “general security” offence. He was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and a fine of 5,000 Saudi Arabian riyals. He had been arrested by the Commission for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (also known as the Mutawa’een or religious police) in January for allegedly appearing in a video dressed in a police uniform and flirting with the man filming him.


He was also reported to have been tried on the charge of homosexuality on another occasion in previous years, when he was sentenced to counselling and memorising a chapter of the Qur’an.

It is not known whether the sentences of lashes passed in March and November 2010 have been carried out.

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