Concern as Maldives cracks down on gay men


A beach in the Maldives

There’s been a worrying report that police in the Maldives have arrested two men in their private home on gay charges.

According to the LGBT group Rainbow Warriors, the men, aged 56 and 27, were arrested on the tropical island of Dhaandhoo on Saturday following a tip-off.

Homosexuality is illegal in the Indian Ocean nation, both under the recently revised penal code and religious Sharia law, through which Muslim citizens found guilty could be sentenced to death.

Rainbow Warriors said that the arrests may represent a disturbing new crackdown on the LGBT community as until now the authorities had not policed private consensual same-sex sexual activity.

The organisation warned LGBT visitors to the popular tourism hotspot that they could also be targeted by the police.

In 2012, Hilath Rasheed, the first openly gay blogger in the Maldives, miraculously survived having his throat slashed by an attacker.

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