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Two 'married' gay couples arrested in Saudi Arabia

Religious police raid apartment after a video of an unofficial gay marriage circulated on social media

Two 'married' gay couples arrested in Saudi Arabia
A video of an unofficial gay marriage circulated on social media Monday.

Saudi religious police Tuesday (26 January) arrested four gay men in a raid on an apartment in the capital Riyadh, where they were living as married couples.

The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice acted after a video of an unofficial gay marriage started circulating on social media Monday, according to local media reports.

During interrogation, two of the men, both aged 28, admitted that they had got married two days before and were still on their honeymoon. The other two men married last week.

Police searched the apartment and seized women’s clothes and alcohol – crossdressing and alcohol are illegal in the Middle Eastern kingdom. Mobile phones containing videos of the marriages were also confiscated.

Gay marriage is not recognized in Saudi Arabia, and gay sex is punishable by up to life inprisonment, fines and/or whipping/flogging, castration, torture and even death.

Several men were arrested in in raids on two gay parties in June 2015, and another 35 were detained the previous year.

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