Last week, the Saudi Arabian government announced the execution of 37 men for various, mostly terror-related crimes. Of those convicted, one was crucified, and another was age 16 upon arrest.
Amongst records of the proceedings published by CNN, reports show that five of those executed were linked to homosexual acts. These men were a part of a group of 24 men that were a part of protests against the political and economic marginalization of the Shia community. One confession states that one of the men admitted to having sex with four others. According to CNN, these homosexual acts were referenced twice in the reports.
The prisoner whose name was signed to this confession denied these charges, and asserted that the confession was manufactured. Other reports indicate that the prisoners were subjected to torture. Amnesty International called the proceedings “sham trials that violated international fair trial standards which relied on confessions extracted through torture.”
While it is unclear how much this aspect of the confession played into the final sentencing, Saudi Arabia adheres to Sharia law and under their interpretation, homosexual acts are a criminal offense and can be sentenced to death.
Similar laws have been recently introduced in Brunei. Celebrities and activists have come out against that recent set of laws. There have been protests in person at hotels in the Dorchester Group, which is owned by Brunei, as well as political actions to stand in solidarity elsewhere. Hotels from the group have shuttered their social media accounts as a result but Brunei has made no indicationt hat they are reconsidering the legislation.