Saudi Arabia: 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 report.
Gulf News, West Asia’s biggest selling English newspaper, ran the story entitled “Gay man sentenced for twitter debauchery in Saudi Arabia.” It said the man used his Twitter account to “promote homosexual contacts.”
The religious police or the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice had been alerted about the tweets and was able to apprehend the man in a sting operation using an undercover agent.
His confiscated mobile phone also revealed several “immoral” pictures and so the commission to refer his case to the public prosecution.
The arrested man reportedly admitted to using his account on the microblog to contact and communicate with gay men.
The prosecutor requested a “harsh punishment” on charges of “promoting debauchery” and decided on 450 lashes given over 15 sessions, said the Gulf News that is headquartered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Same-sex relations is banned in Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf Cooperation Council states that comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.
Saudi Arabia’s closest economic and security ally the United States has documented incidents of anti-LGBT violence and discrimination and even of how Saudi authorities have chosen to ban men from public schools for appearing to be gay because they wore tight clothing and “girls who adopt masculine appearances.”
The US State Department’s 2013 Human Rights Report points out that consensual same-sex relations remain punishable by death under Saudi Arabia law.
Source – Gay Asia News