Friday, March 18, 2005

Saudi Arabia arrests 110 gay men

From UK

Saudi Arabia has apparently arrested a group of presumably gay men, claiming they were celebrating a gay wedding in the city of Jeddah.

According to press reports, 110 men were arrested at a party with many fleeing as special forces entered.

Although 80 were released, The Guardian reports, 30 men are still being detained and are likely to face charges.

The arrests follow a growing international awareness of the Saudi stance on homosexuality, which is still illegal in the country and punishable by jail terms or even death.

Although arrests are regularly made, there has been an increasing number of accounts that suggest the taboo nature of sexual diversity is being exploited by those bearing a grudge.

Men can be arrested under suspicion of being gay, and police forces are often 'tipped' off by neighbours, reports suggest, leaving the system open to personal vendettas.

Earlier this month, two men were jailed for apparently murdering another that had reportedly threatened to reveal they were partners.

These latest arrests are reminiscent of similarly high profile arrests in nearby Egypt, where homosexuality is also taboo.

The country's government was accused of regularly rounding up gay men, most notably in the 2001 arrest of more than 50 people at a boat party.

Since then, it has been regularly attacked by human rights groups, gay activists and celebrities.

Saudi Arabia is also known to regularly block gay websites such as and international gay sites, including

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Saudi Arabia executes two gay men


Two gay men have been executed in Saudi Arabia, according to news agency reports, after the government accused them of killing another man.

Ahmed al-Enezi and Shahir al-Roubli, who were apparently in a relationship, were reportedly beheaded over the weekend.

The government claims that they had killed Malik Khan after he saw them together and threatened to "expose" their relationship, Reuters reports.

Homosexuality is still a criminal offense in the country, which is considered one of the most oppressive in the world.

Press reports suggest the men believed Khan would blackmail them over their relationship. They are reported to have run him over, beaten him with stones and set fire to his body, in a bid to make his corpse unrecognizable.

The executions angered gay rights groups, who have warned that the Saudi government often implements its harsh laws on lesbian and gay people for no reason other than a single complaint.

Previous examples of its no-tolerance attitude to gay people include the censorship of gay Web sites. The government blocked in June 2003 and 2004, even though the site offered news and health advice to gay men in the region. It also censored international sites, including