Saudi Arabia arrests five gays in health club scandal

Saudi religious police arrested five gay men during a raid on a health club in the Kingdom's capital, Riyadh

Saudi Arabia arrests five gays in health club scandal
23 October 2012

Saudi Arabia’s notorious religious police shut a health club after seizing five local gays in a raid triggered by a tip-off about the club’s ‘suspicious activities’.

Members of the religious police, known in the oil rich kingdom as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, raided on Saturday (20 October) a health club located in the north of Riyadh, the country’s capital, and arrested the five gay men.

‘During the raid, they seized five gays, who possessed condoms…some of the condoms contained semen’ stated Kabar newspaper.

The newspaper appears to suggest this was not an isolated incident and some men used the club for sexual meets, hence ‘the authorities also decided to shut the club permanently’ .

The law in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is not strictly codified and its implementation, in either a lenient or severe manner, depends mostly on religious Sunni judges and scholars, as well as royal decrees (and thus subject to extreme variability).

Generally speaking punishment range from imprisonment and/or flogging to the death penalty. Conviction and severity of punishments depends on the social class, religion and citizenship of the accused, whereby non-western migrant workers receive usually harsher treatment than upper class Saudi citizens.

The religious police encourage reporting of any ‘deviant’ behavior and deliberately entrap people for homosexuality, for example a British male nurse who was recently entrapped via fake SMS sent by the religious police.

Entrapment by the religious police does not necessarily lead to prosecution, but often results in life-long financial and/or sexual blackmail.

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.’

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Singapore couple goes to court to abolish anti-gay sex law

Singapore's High Court held its first hearing of Gary Lim and Kenneth Chee's case that seeks to repeal the country's anti-sodomy law 
No thumbnail available

British celebrities help Stonewall raise cash to fight school bullies

Julian Clary, Russell Tovey, Gok Wan, Beverley Knight and Christian Jessen at charity’s annual summer party
No thumbnail available

7 sexy, gruff bearded men currently making London swoon

Last chance to catch 'Beard' at Somerset House
No thumbnail available

Tom Ford reveals Winter 2013-14 collection

The designer will unveil his menswear collection today, choosing London over Milan as his show venue
No thumbnail available

Senator Jeanne Shaheen pays moving tribute to late lesbian guardsman Charlie Morgan

Introducing bill to lift restriction of benefits of legally married gay and lesbian soldiers anbd veterans
No thumbnail available
No thumbnail available

Norway Prime Minister supports church gay weddings

Several people are outraged and choosing to leave the Church of Norway over their 'lack of understanding' on religious same-sex marriage
No thumbnail available

Turkish court fines bathhouse owner for refusing transgender woman entry

Verdict hailed a small but significant victory for the LGBT community in the secularly ruled, traditionally Muslim country
No thumbnail available

US club to drop the word ‘tranny’ from name

San Francisco-based club Trannyshack will remove ‘tranny’ from the name, founder cites recent debate about the use of the word as the reason for the change
No thumbnail available

Bisexual porn star denies all charges in body parts case

Luka Rocco Magnotta is suspected of first-degree murder, defiling a corpse, and sending the parts to politicians