Monday, November 28, 2005

26 men arrested at mass gay marriage in Dubai

More than two dozen gay Arab men face strict punishment after being arrested at what police in the United Arab Emirates described as a mass homosexual wedding.

They could be lashed, forced to undergo hormone treatments and jailed for five years, an Interior Ministry official said as he announced the arrests on Saturday.

Interior Ministry spokesman Issam Azouri said police detained 26 men during a raid earlier in the month as the wedding ceremony was about to begin in a hotel chalet in Dubai.

The country, which lies along the Persian Gulf between Saudi Arabia and Oman, has banned openly homosexual behaviour.

Azouri said the men would probably be tried under Muslim law on charges related to prostitution and adultery, the Associated Press reported.

There have been a series of similar group arrests of homosexuals over the past few years in the United Arab Emirates.

The Interior Ministry said the latest detentions stemmed from a tip-off to police.

The arrested men were mostly from the Emirates but one came from India and three others were from neighbouring Arab countries, Azouri said.


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