JAFFA, Israel – The Saudi judiciary has demanded stricter punishments, including death sentences, against homosexuals who display their sexuality in public and on social media, Okaz newspaper reported.
According to the paper, over the last six months the Saudi judiciary reviewed 35 cases of homosexuality and what it calls sexual perversion as well as 50 cases of cross-dressers.
The judiciary said that social media has ushered in a sharp rise in “perverts” displaying their “sins and obscenities,” which pose a danger to the country’s social fabric.
Saudi authorities have stepped up enforcement against homosexuality and “men’s attempts to look like women.”
This week, a Jeddah physician was arrested for flying a rainbow flag – a symbol of the gay rights movement – on his roof. He said in his defense that he bought it online at the behest of his son without knowing what it stands for. He was released on bail, pending the investigation.
At the same time, Okaz reports, a man in his 50s was arrested for making online sexual advances to men. While being questioned, he begged police to forgive him and said he wouldn’t do it again.
Meanwhile, social media users launched the hashtag #I_am_gay_will_not_be_deterred in protest. Some defended an individual’s freedom to express his sexuality, while most users said that homosexuality is a transgression and a capital offense.
“It has nothing to do with freedom, it’s breaching the laws of Allah,” wrote a commenter. “When a man has sex with another man, God is trembling.”