Arab men given five years for homosexuality

Angela D’Amboise | February 17, 2006

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES — A United Arab Court has jailed and sentenced eleven gay men who were accused of being gay after they were discovered preparing for a gay wedding.

The men, who were arrested last November, were given five year sentences for homosexuality and one year sentence for obscenity, according to reports from Gay.com. A twelfth man was given a one year jail sentence for obscenity but was acquitted of homosexuality along with another 14 other men.

According to some reports, the men were arrested wearing women’s clothes and preparing to walk down the aisle in a mass wedding celebration.

In November, press reports indicated that the UAE’s Interior Ministry would be giving the arrested men hormone treatments to “cure” them of their homosexuality. Homosexuality is illegal in the UAE and hormone injections are used in an attempt to cure gay men and turn them straight.

According to the Associated Press, this is the latest in a string of raids and arrests in countries where homosexuality is illegal. Authorities in Egypt arrested more than a dozen gay men attending a boat party, a move that led to international condemnation and criticism from the European Union.

Last year, more than 30 men in Saudi Arabia were arrested for taking part in a gay wedding party. And in several countries, hard-line tactics have led to the banning of gay news websites and online chat rooms. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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