Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in Saudi Arabia face legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents, and Saudi Arabia is.
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They were among 35 people arrested when police officers raided a rented hall.
While the incident sparked outrage among rights groups, it was not surprising. In , Saudi authorities instructed travel agents in Pakistan not to grant visas to transgender Muslims who were planning to make the Hajj or Umrah pilgrimage. Gay men and women also face potentially fatal risks in Saudi Arabia. However, some have argued that the segregation of the sexes in Saudi society at least enables them to mingle and meet each other. In private, Saudi authorities often have little suspicion of homosexual relations when people of the same sex are alone together.
Yet for too many gay Saudis, the kingdom is more like a living hell. Dozens of men were also arrested for attending gay weddings in and in In January , the authorities arrested several young men who featured in a video of an alleged gay wedding that took place in a resort in Mecca. The incident indicates that the arrest and persecution of gays will continue under the new Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman , whom prominent figures in the West have hailed as a reformer.
Gay Saudis have also said that they fear their families will disown them if their sexual orientation is exposed. A young man, referred to as Radwan, tried to tell his family that he was gay while he was in the United States. However, his father could not cope with the news and threatened to kill himself. Back-pedalling, Radwan quickly told his father that he was no longer gay so that his family would accept him again. Yasser, like his family, has also internalized the belief that same-sex relations are immoral, making it difficult for him to reconcile his sexual orientation with their religious views.
If you practice something forbidden and keep it quiet, God might forgive you. Lesbians face similar restrictions. Like their male counterparts, they are often forced to explore their sexuality online. AJ, which is the moniker of a Saudi woman who has claimed asylum in America, told National Public Radio NPR that she first started exploring her sexuality by logging into gay chatrooms. AJ added that it took her more than a year and a half to learn the name of her first online girlfriend.
By then, she was sure that she was gay. Yet with no freedom to be herself, she decided to enrol in university abroad.
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She studied for years, before she was granted asylum on the grounds of her sexual orientation in Roshan, a year-old boy, was kicked out of his house in March after he told his father that he was gay. In a Reddit post, Roshan wrote that his family threatened to kill him and told him that he could never come back home. Despite receiving messages of support, Roshan ostensibly committed suicide eight days later.
The government has produced educational material on how the disease is spread and since the s Abdullah al-Hokail, a Saudi doctor who specializes in the pandemic, has been allowed to air public service announcements on television about the disease and how it is spread. While the government has designated several hospitals to treat those people infected with AIDS or HIV, other hospitals often refuse to care for such people or fail to treat them in a compassionate and humane manner.
It started to recognize World AIDS Day , and the Arabic and English daily newspapers were permitted to run articles and opinions that expressed the need for more education about the disease and more compassion for those people infected.
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The number of people living in the kingdom who were infected was a closely guarded secret, as the official policy was often that the disease was not a serious problem in a kingdom because Saudis followed the principles of traditional Islamic morality. In the government announced that it knew of 6, cases, and in the official number rose to 7, The government statistics claim that most of the registered cases are foreign males who contracted the disease through "forbidden" sexual relations.
Sana Filimban. In January a Saudi economics professor at King Abdul Aziz University was permitted to conduct of survey of a handful of Saudi University students on their level of education about the pandemic. The proposed "Bill of Rights" document was criticized by Human Rights Watch for allegedly undermining human rights and global efforts to fight the pandemic. Foreigners who are applying for a work visa are required to demonstrate that they are not infected with the virus before they can enter the country, and are required to get a test upon arrival at a government accredited lab.
To be issued their first work permit, they are also required to perform the test again before the renewal of a residency or work permit. Any foreigner that is discovered to be infected will be deported to the country of origin as soon as they are deemed fit to travel. Foreigners are not given access to any HIV medications and while awaiting deportation may be segregated imprisoned from the rest of society. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The Kingdom in the Closet
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