35 men allegedly dressed in women's clothes were entrapped by the religious police and could face a life of blackmail, jail or even death
Saudi Arabia police have arrested 35 people and accused them of being gay.
The men, allegedly dressed in women’s clothes, were arrested at a beach resort in the western city of Jeddah.
According to local reports, neighbors contacted the religious police complaining of the loud music being played at the party.
The police took the arrested men to the station and kept the dresses and music equipment until an investigation is complete.
LGBTI rights in Saudi Arabia are non-existent. Homosexuality is taboo and punished with jail, flogging, chemical castration or even death.
Trans men and women are considered gay and suffer the same fate.
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: ‘Once the Hay’ah [religious police] have your identity on record for being gay, you are very likely to face financial and even sexual blackmail.
‘If families hear that a member is gay it is not unheard of that they would attempt to kill the person in order to avoid being "shamed".
‘If word spreads to employer or the wider community, then not only the person is likely to loose his job but become a social pariah.’