Saudi Arabia



According to the Human Rights Watch World Report: “Judges use principles of uncodified Islamic law to sanction people suspected of committing sexual relations outside marriage, including adultery, extramarital and homosexual sex. If individuals are engaging in such relationships online, judges and prosecutors utilize vague provisions of the country’s anti-cybercrime law that criminalize online activity impinging on ‘public order, religious values, public morals, and privacy.’”

The US Department of State Human Rights Report on Saudi Arabia stated that under the interpretation of Sharia in the country, consensual same-sex sexual conduct is punishable by death or flogging, depending on the perceived seriousness of the offence, and the law makes it illegal for men “to behave like women” or wear women’s clothes, and vice versa.


In July, it was reported that a gay man, who allegedly tried to arrange a date via Twitter, was sentenced to 450 lashes and three years imprisonment.

This followed another report in April which found that 35 LGBT individuals had been arrested following a “gay party”.


A report from the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada suggested that, due to the nature of law enforcement in the country, information on the number of successful prosecutions is “almost non-existent”. The report also included contradictory views on whether the death penalty is actively applied for individuals found guilty of same-sex sexual relations. The report detailed a number of individual instances of prosecution. A large number of arrests have been reported in recent years.



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