Saudi Arabia have announced plans to execute homosexuals who ‘come out’ publicly on social media.
According to Oraz, a Saudi newspaper,prosecutors in the city of Jiddah are introducing the death penalty in response to an increase in prosecutions of people practising homosexuality in Saudi Arabia over the last 6 months.
Okaz reported that Jiddah authorities have prosecuted 50 cases in which men allegedly dressed as women. A doctor who lives in the port city on the Red Sea has been released on bail after officials arrested him for allegedly raising an LGBT Pride flag over his home.
A gay Saudi man who lives outside the kingdom told the Washington Blade on Monday during a telephone interview the enhanced penalties that Jiddah prosecutors have proposed would apply to the entire country. The man, who operates a Twitter account that publishes LGBT-specific news and other information from Saudi Arabia, said the proposal has caused fear among LGBT people in the country.
Chanan Weissman, a spokesperson for the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, told the Blade on Tuesday that the U.S. is “aware of these reports, but cannot verify their accuracy.”
“We continue to gather more information,” he said.
Social media users in Saudi Arabia andelsewhere have begun to use the hashtag “You will not terrorize me. I’m gay” on Twitter to express their opposition to the proposed penalty.