Saudi Arabian police have slapped, kicked and tortured a Yemeni blogger in a bid to prove he is gay.
The police have admitted they arrested Yemeni blogger and human rights activist Mohamad al-Bokari on 8 April.
Now a source has said they repeatedly kicked and slapped him to for him to ‘confess that he is gay’. They have apparently beaten him every day since his arrest.
Moreover, they allegedly even resorted to using an ‘anal probe test’. These forced anal exams are supposed to establish if someone has had anal sex.
However, they have no scientific basis and are cruel and degrading. Indeed, they are officially a form of torture.
Meanwhile Al-Bokari, told the source he has been having difficulty breathing, eating, and sleeping. The 29-year-old, who has a chronic heart condition, also says his psychological and physical health are deteriorating.
Held in prison without a trial
Authorities are angry that al-Bokari posted a video calling for human rights, sparking anger on social media.
In it al-Bokari, from Yemen, said: ‘Everyone has rights and should be able to practice them freely, including gay people.’
The media spokesman for the Riyadh police department, Shaker bin Suleiman Al-Tuwaijri, has confirmed they arrest him.
In a statement, Al-Tuwaijri said the video contained ‘sexual references’ that ‘violate public order and morals’.
Police have held him since 8 April even though he hasn’t had a trial.
He is currently at al-Malaz prison in Riyadh. Meanwhile he’s requested a lawyer but the authorities are not letting him consult one.
Death threats from Yemen armed groups
Human Rights Watch has investigated the case and demanded the authorities immediately release al-Boarki.
Michael Page is deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. He said:
‘We are deeply concerned about the safety and well-being of Mohamad al-Bokari, whose life may be at risk if he is deported to Yemen.
‘Saudi authorities should do the right thing and immediately release the young man, who was only expressing his opinion.’
The Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality (AFE), who have documented his case, say al-Bokari fled Yemen in June last year.
He apparently walked from Yemen’s capital Sana’a to Sa’dah, also in Yemen. From there he travelled to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia before arriving in Riyadh, the Saudi capital – a total journey of at least 2,442km or 1,517miles.
Since then, Yemeni armed groups have threatened him with death should he return to the country.
Saudi Arabia often holds prisoners for long periods without trials, charges or any clear legal process.
Moreover, Saudi Arabia is one of the countries that has the death penalty for homosexuality. Offenders also face jail terms, floggings, torture and chemical castration.
Meanwhile anal probe tests are common in many countries, even though they are a form of torture and rape.