Yemen: Al-Qaeda linked group kills man ‘accused of being gay’
Reports out of Yemen say two militants from an Al-Qaeda linked group have shot dead a man in the southern Lahj province of the country, on the basis of his perceived sexuality.
It’s claimed 20-year-old Hashem al-Asmi was gunned down late on Monday in the provincial capital of Huj.
The attackers who “accused the man of being gay… belong to Ansar al-Shariah,” a police source told AFP on condition of anonymity.
Ansar al-Sharia is the local branch of Al-Qaeda in Yemen where the network, although weakened, is still active mainly in the southern and eastern parts of the country.
The gunmen reportedly fled on a motorbike after killing the victim.
Same-sex sexual activity remains illegal in Yemen with punishments ranging from flogging to death.
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The country was ranked in 2012 by Amnesty International as one of the eight worst offenders for capital punishment in the world.
In June, Alaa Jarban, a leading student activist during the Arab Spring in Yemen, came out as gay on his blog.
The 21-year-old told the BBC from Canada: “I will never regret doing it” – despite receiving several death threats.