Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s religious police have arrested five men on charges of homosexuality, charges that could see them facing the death penalty.

According to the Kabar newspaper, the feared Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice raided a health club in the Olaya district, north of Riyadh, on Saturday.

This after the commission confirmed the “credibility” of numerous complaints about “unethical practices” in the club.

Accompanied by the secretariat of Riyadh, officials raided the venue and arrested the five youths described as “homosexuals”.

Officials found condoms, some of which the newspaper said contained semen. The club was also permanently closed down.

Ali, a 31-year-old gay law student in Jeddah told Gay Star News: “The fact that Kabar reported this case is very worrying; even if they are released these guys will always be in trouble.

“However, if they are to be put on trial it could prove very dangerous for them.”

Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia and may be punished with imprisonment, corporal punishment and execution. These sentences are based largely on the whim of Muslim judges and clerics hearing individual cases.

In April, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice was tasked with implementing orders for “gays and tomboys” to be barred from government schools and universities.

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