A 24-year-old Saudi man has been severely punished for the crime of “practising homosexuality” on Twitter.
The unnamed man was found guilty of using the social media site to meet other men and sentenced to three years in jail and 450 lashes, reports Al-Watan.
Religious police from the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice set up a fake date to entrap the man in the city of Medina.
When he arrived for the date, he was arrested and his phone was confiscated. It was found to contain “pro-homosexual abnormalities” and “pornographic images of homosexual perversion.”
The man pleaded guilty to the charges and avoided being executed. The Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution had asked that he be sentenced to death.
“It is infuriating and disheartening when a country that was elected not too long ago to become a member of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), arrogantly and nonchalantly violates its core principles and harms its own citizens,” Abdulla of the United Arab Emirates LGBT group told LGBTQ Nation.
“Not only… is the fundamental human right for privacy… breached but the entrapment and sentence also breaches several human rights charters. If the man survives this ordeal he will find himself an outcast and will be in danger for life after he completes this harsh sentence.”
Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia under Sharia law and may be punished with imprisonment, corporal punishment and even execution. These sentences are based largely on the whim of Islamic judges and clerics hearing individual cases.