Archive for the ‘Lashing’ Category

Saudi jailed and flogged for gay video – Sent by Doug Ireland

The following appeared today on Al Bab, the blog on the Middle East by the former Middle East correspondent of The Guardian, Brian Whitaker (author of “Unspeakable Love: Gay and Lesbian life in the Middle East”). To see the video, click on the link to Brian’s blog:

Saudi jailed and flogged for gay video:

A 27-year-old Saudi man from Jeddah has been sentenced to 1,000 lashes, a year in jail and a fine of 5,000 riyals ($1,330) after appearing in an amateur gay video (above).

The film, which lasts 2 minutes and 46 seconds, shows him dressed in a police uniform asking to inspect someone’s driving licence and then flirtatiously demanding “physical comfort” after saying the licence is expired. He later opens his shirt and rubs his chest, removes his cap flaunting his long hair and waves a gun suggestively. That’s as far as it goes.

Arab News says: “The video quickly spread online and through SMS… Attempts have been made to block the video from being viewed in Saudi Arabia.”

The man has not been officially named but he is named on the internet as Ahmad al-Faqih. He was arrested in January and reportedly tried in a closed court. He was charged with impersonating a police officer, committing a “general security” offence and being homosexual.

The man who filmed the video was also arrested but his fate has not been reported.


Saudi protest over torture of gays – 7,000 lashes for ‘sodomy’ could kill
Demo at Saudi Embassy in London

London – 19 October 2007

Fifty people picketed the Saudi Arabian Embassy in London today, 19
October, in protest at the flogging and execution of gay people.

To download free use photos of the protest, click here:

On the 2 October, two young men in the Saudi Arabian city of Al-Bahah were convicted of ‘sodomy’ and sentenced to 7,000 lashes. In Saudi Arabia same-sex relations are illegal and the maximum penalty is death.

“7,000 lashes is a form of torture, calculated to cause maximum, prolonged suffering,” said protester Peter Tatchell of the gay human rights group OutRage!

“So many lashes can be fatal, depending on how many are delivered at any one time,” he said.

The London protest was organised by the National Union of Students (NUS) LGBT campaign, with the support of OutRage!

The protest came just over a week ahead of the State Visit to the UK of the Saudi tyrant, King Abdullah bin Abdul Azaz al Saud.

“As well as flogging and executing gay people, the Saudi leaders are guilty of detention without trial, torture and the public beheading women who have sex outside of marriage,” said Peter Tatchell.

“The Saudis import migrant workers to do menial tasks. They are treated like de facto slaves, frequently abused and with few rights. The media is heavily censored. Trade unions, political parties and non-Muslim religions are banned. The country is a theocratic police state.

“The British and US governments support the despotic, corrupt Saudi regime. Labour sells the Saudi leaders arms and honours them with state visits. It refuses asylum to gay Saudis who flee persecution and seek refuge in the UK,” he said.

“The Saudi leaders should be shunned until they stop their homophobic persecution and their many other human rights abuses,” said fellow OutRage! protester, Brett Lock.

“Next week’s State Visit by King Abdullah should be cancelled. Gordon Brown and The Queen should not be welcoming to Britain the head of a corrupt, tyrannical regime.

“We urge international solidarity to support the Saudi people’s struggle for democracy and human rights, in the same way that the world mobilised to support the struggle against apartheid in South Africa,” said Mr Lock.

This view was echoed by NUS protest organiser, Scott Cuthbertson:
“We call on individuals and groups, LGBT or otherwise, to protest against the continued criminalisation, imprisonment, torture and murder of LGBT people in Saudi Arabia,” he said.

“We handed in a letter of protest to the Saudi Ambassador, HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf, calling on his Government to respect the human rights of its own LGBT citizens. Please join us in the struggle for Love without Borders – LGBT rights around the world – and make your views known to the Saudi Ambassador,” he added.

“This year NUS LGBT Campaign is campaigning for ‘Love without Borders'”, said Claire Anderson, the NUS LGBT Officer and co-organiser of the protest.

“Around the world, LGBT people are persecuted, imprisoned and even murdered in state-sponsored homophobia. We live in a global community and no longer can we stand by while LGBT people are persecuted. Now is the time to use our freedom to fight for the rights of others across the globe. When abuses of human rights take place we must not be silent,” she said.

Contact phone number:
Claire Anderson NUS 07845 605152
Peter Tatchell OutRage! 020 7403 1790
Read also: Saudi Arabia: 7,000 Lashes for Sodomy

5th October 2007 13:15 writer

Two men have been publicly flogged in Saudi Arabia after being found guilty of sodomy and sentenced to 7,000 lashes.

The men, who have not been identified, received an unspecified number of lashes in the south-western city of Al-Bahah on Tuesday evening, according to a report from the Al-Okaz daily.

The men will remain in prison until the rest of their punishment can be completed.

In Saudi Arabia, homosexuality is illegal under sharia, or Islamic Law.

The maximum sentence it carries is the death penalty and this is most commonly performed by public beheading.

Gay rights are not recognised in the kingdom and the publication of any material promoting them is banned for its “un-Islamic” themes.

With strict laws restricting unmarried opposite-sex couples, however, and public displays of affection accepted between men, some Westerners have suggested that sharia encourages homosexuality.

Last April, a court in Saudi Arabia sentenced two Saudis, one Yemeni and a Jordanian to two years in jail and 2,000 lashes after a police raid on an alleged gay party.

Lashing can provoke internal hemorragy and death.

pegahgwb1.jpgWhat Will Happen to Pegah and to Human Rights in the UK?
By Roberto Malini, Every One Group

Dear Friends, the Campaign of Flowers, as well as the entire Campaign for Pegah, is based on the recovery of the values of brotherhood and solidarity in actions for the defence of human rights. We live in a difficult age and unfortunately the governments, the magistracy and often the most well-known humanitarian organisations in the world have relegated the Universal Declaration of Human rights, the Convention on the Status of Refugees and other rules on which we base our level of civilisation and respect of minorities behind other priorities: security, immigration control, the defence of nations and families.

The EveryOne Group is committed to defending the dignity and lives of refugees, but also to reminding the European governments that laws concerning human rights exist, they are very clearly stated and they must not be deliberately misinterpreted. To deport the refugees towards unjust sentences is a crime against humanity and there are no alibis for governments who are stained with such crimes.

To sacrifice human rights for “security”, for the concept of “nation” is the same principle on which the National Socialist Party based its rise to power in the 1920s and 1930s. The EveryOne Group was created from an ideal and grows every day. We work day and night in contact with the activists, with the people who believe in human rights and with the better side of the political world in order to contribute towards changing things.

Many people are asking us what will happen to Pegah now. Friends, I have been studying persecutions and genocides for the last 30 years, I have published books, made documentaries and organized exhibitions, I am the curator of museums about the Holocaust and Genocides.

Unfortunately it is easy to read the minds of Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith in this moment. They are angry because the problem of the arbitrary and unjust deportations has come to light. I hope I’m wrong, but the history of persecution generally repeats a pattern. I believe the UK Government is once again studying a way to refuse Pegah asylum, motivating the decision thus: “Pegah is unable to prove she is homosexual and therefore we believe her case has been inflated”.

I don’t believe they will deport her to Iran because they know she would be faced with torture and murder. According to the Convention (that they are well aware of) they will give her all the time she needs to find a third country willing to grant her asylum. And Italy will enter the game. With this formula, the UK Government is confident of savings its face, saving the political career of Jacqui Smith (which is otherwise at risk) and, after a period of caution for fear of an international scandal, continue the deportations of refugees towards their death.

This is the truth, and if those who read these lines, think it over and continue to accept this situation, they will become accomplices of indifference and the new genocide.

The members of the EveryOne group will not do that, they will continue to speak out for and write about the truth. And there’s only one truth: homosexuality cannot be proven, because it is a state of mind. To ask for video or photographic evidences would be the most serious violation of the intimacy and dignity of a human being. To ask for signed testimonies would mean exposing the witnesses in their native land to persecution and sentences. Moreover, it would be a violation of the privacy of the witnesses themselves, even in a democratic country, not only in a regime, to force them to ”come out”.

To ask for documents related to a sentence in the countries of origin goes against human rights conventions that state that the request for testimony must be related to local laws. If in Iran homosexuality is persecuted, those who declare their homosexuality in the country in which they request asylum have the right to be recognized as a refugee and to be granted asylum. Without any “ifs” or “buts”. The rest is just criminal and repressive politics.

To get back to Pegah, she is an extraordinary woman and is a symbol of the new fury against the weak and different. We must continue to watch over her, but we must also ask quite firmly for respect of the international laws that protect refugees in the future. We must also urge the media – TV and press – not to fill our heads with frivolity and false problems, but to help us when we bring cases of violation of human rights to their attention, because the British press has shown itself to be at the service of those in power, to be unable to understand and report the truth, at the cost of hiding serious cases like Pegah Emambakhsh’s.

If the individual citizens don’t represent the pride, the freedom and the civilization of the United Kingdom, the country will slip into a regime that the citizens themselves are creating.

We have the same problems here in Italy and we must commit ourselves in the same way. There is a campaign underway right now, one of discrimination and oppression against the Roma and Sinti (Gypsies). Like during the Nazi period, the authorities are pursuing pedlars and beggars and the press is supporting this persecution. And as if this weren’t enough, we too treat the problem of asylum for refugees in a superficial and unjust manner. More flowers are needed! A shower of flowers and common sense! We must stick by Pegah, my friends, and keep our eyes open wide, so that the horizon of human rights won’t become just a distant line.