Last edited: February 12, 2005

Nine Saudi Men Sentenced on Sodomy Charges

DataLounge, April 17, 2000

RIYADH, Saudi ArabiaNine young Saudi men have each been sentenced to more than 2,500 lashes and at least five years in prison for deviant sexual behavior, a police officer said Sunday.

The Associated Press reports a court in the western city of Qunfuda on Saturday sentenced five of the men to six years in prison and 2,600 lashes. The men are to be flogged 52 times in 50 sessions, the officer said. The four other defendants were sentenced to five years and 2,400 lashes. They are to be flogged 48 times in 50 sessions. There will be a break of 15 days between each of the flogging sessions.

Police started tailing the nine men after reports that they were acting "strangely," the officer said. He said police found that they were dressing in women's clothing and engaging in deviant sexual behavior with each other.

All nine confessed to the charges.

The conservative kingdom, where women are not allowed to drive and must be covered head-to-toe in public, follows a strict interpretation of Islamic law. Courts routinely order hands amputated for theft, and public execution for murder, rape, sodomy and drug trafficking.

Human rights organizations have criticized the penalties.

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