Dubai’s English-language Gulf News reports that a Saudi Arabia court has sentenced a young man to 450 lashes and three years in prison for attempting to meet other men via Twitter.
The man, 24, was arrested after he posted several tweets calling for homosexual relations and expressing his readiness to meet gay men, local daily Al Watan reported on Tuesday. The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, the religious police, was alerted about the tweets and was able to apprehend the young man after it set him up using an undercover agent. His mobile phone was searched and several “immoral” pictures were discovered, prompting the Commission to refer his case to the public prosecution. During the trial, the prosecutor requested a harsh punishment and the confiscation of the mobile phone on charges of promoting debauchery. The suspect reportedly admitted to using his account on the microblog to contact and communicate with homosexuals. The court decided that the 450 lashes would be given over 15 sessions.
Gulf News concludes its report by noting that homosexuality is forbidden in “Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states that also comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the UAE.”