What’s going on in Saudi Arabia?
A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced a Yemeni blogger to imprisonment followed by deportation over a social media post supporting equal rights for all.
Authorities charged Mohamad al-Bokari with violating public morality.
According to reporting by Q News, Mohamad al-Bokari fled war-torn Yemen after threats against his life there. In April, he posted videos on SnapChat urging his followers to respect the rights of gay people. He then reinforced his message in response to comments on his posts.
“Everyone has their own rights…” wrote al-Bokari. “Homosexuals have their rights. I hope you will leave homosexual people alone and not intervene in their personal affairs. Everyone is free.”
Saudi authorities alleged that his comments promoted homosexuality and arrested him for violating public morality.
Following his arrest, it’s believed that al-Bokari was held in solitary confinement for six weeks and that he was subjected to an anal examination to determine whether he had engaged in anal sex.
The case has been brought to court an al-Bokari was convicted. He has been sentenced to 10 months in prison and a substantial fine. Following the completion of his imprisonment, he will be deported to Yemen.
What’s life like for LGBTQ people in Saudi Arabia?
Saudi Arabia is considered one of the most anti-LGBTQ countries in the world. It is an ultra-conservative society, heavily influenced by religion. Homosexuality is illegal and state-sanctioned persecution is commonplace.
The country doesn’t have a codified criminal code but homosexuality is listed among the crimes that warrant arrest and imprisonment.
Homosexuality can by punished by death.