Saudi Arabia has said it will support human rights as long as they can still kill LGBTI people.
Earlier this week, the country was heavily criticized during a meeting of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
It was pointed out that punishing homosexuality with life imprisonment, torture, chemical castration, whipping and the death penalty does not fit in with internationally recognized human rights protecting people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
But government officials have said calls for Saudi Arabia to support LGBTI rights were ‘unacceptable’ and a ‘flagrant interference in its internal affairs’.
Faisal bin Hasan Trad, Saudi Arabia’s representative at the UN, said the country will not tolerate criticism of its human rights record.
According to Arab News, Trad said ‘some were attempting to portray the country in a bad light’.
The country’s Interior Ministry confirmed on Twitter: ‘Saudi Arabia opposes any resolution for gay rights. Saudi Arabia reaffirms its support for human rights, and respect towards all international conventions, as long as it is in accordance with Islamic law.’
The LGBTI community is forced to go underground in Saudi Arabia, mostly in the capital Riyadh. But the religious police are cracking down.
Several men were arrested in a raid on two ‘gay parties‘ earlier this month. And last year, a 24-year-old was sentenced to jail and 450 lashings of a whip just because he was trying to meet other gay men on Twitter.