Human Rights Watch is calling on Saudi authorities to release a Yemeni blogger and human rights activist detained since April 8 after posting a video on social media in which he answered questions from his followers, including one in which he expressed support for LGBTQ people, saying: “Everyone has rights and should be able to practice them freely, including gay people.”
Shaker bin Suleiman Al-Tuwaijri, the media spokesman for the Riyadh police department, confirmed that al-Bokari, 29, had been arrested and said that the blogger’s video contained “sexual references” that “violate public order and morals” and mandated intervention by authorities, according to HRW.
HRW adds: “The source in contact with al-Bokari told Human Rights Watch that he is being held in pretrial detention under physical and psychological duress, and that the police repeatedly kicked and slapped him when they arrested him to compel him to ‘confess that he is gay.’ Al-Bokari, who suffers from a chronic heart condition, told the source that he has been having difficulty breathing, eating, and sleeping, and that his psychological and physical health are deteriorating. He also said that police have beaten him every day since his arrest. The source said that al-Bokari was subjected to a forced anal exam, an internationally discredited practice used to seek ‘proof’ of homosexual conduct. The practice has no scientific basis, violates medical ethics, and constitutes cruel, degrading, and inhuman treatment that can rise to the level of torture. Although no specific charges were brought against him, the authorities accused al-Bokari of being a ‘sodomizer’ who is ‘imitating women,’ and ‘violating public order’ by ‘publicly defending homosexuality online,’ the source said.”
Much more at Human Rights Watch….