Saudi police arrest everyone involved in Mecca ‘gay wedding’ after video goes viral
Authorities in Saudi Arabia have reportedly arrested everyone involved in an alleged same-sex wedding.
A video clip, which features two men in traditional Saudi dress in an apparent wedding ceremony, went viral in the country last week.
Many in the Middle Eastern country have posted homophobic messages and hate speech since the video emerged, pledging to find the people involved.
Now Mecca Police say they have arrested every single person seen in the video.
Saudi officers said they had identified “the cross-dresser and other people involved in the incident”.
Mecca Police added that the men were arrested and that the case was referred to prosecutors.
The force did not name the men or say what charges they were facing.
Men found guilty of same-sex attraction can face fines, floggings, prison time up to life, the death penalty, whipping and deportation.
In a statement on Twitter, Mecca Police wrote: “The man said people attending the event were surprised when a few young men entered the place and tried to perform a ‘gay wedding scene.’”
The statement, translated from Arabic by news website Step Feed, said one of the men in the ceremony was a “crossdresser”.
It went on: “After the crossdresser and other people involved in the incident were identified, they were all arrested and their case will now be referred to the prosecution.”
The newspaper reports that the security services have carried out raids and detained several people in connection with the incident.
Authorities warned Saudis that they must adhere to the “morals and virtuous values of this blessed country”.
A witch hunt is now underway in the country as vigilantes seek to find the men featured in the video.
One message posted in response to the video blamed foreigners for spreading “corruption”, while others lashed out at the country’s new modernising ruler, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.
Saudi Arabia is one of the most barbaric regimes in the world when it comes to LGBT rights.
The report of the wedding have not been confirmed, with some speculating that the clip was actually meant to be a parody.
UK and US governments have come under pressure in the past over cushy relationships with Saudi Arabia, which is a major ally of the West in the Middle East.
Western leaders have been reluctant to challenge the country over alleged human rights abuses in the past.
Donald Trump, who repeatedly used LGBT rights in Saudi Arabia to attack Hillary Clinton, failed to actually bring up LGBT rights during his recent Presidential trip to Saudi Arabia.
During the Presidential campaign, the Republican billionaire had lashed out at the former Secretary of State over her charity foundation taking money from the country.
He tweeted during the campaign: “Saudi Arabia and many of the countries that gave vast amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation want women as slaves and to kill gays. Hillary must return all money from such countries!”
The GOP candidate also raised the issue during a Presidential debate, claiming: “It’s a criminal enterprise. Saudi Arabia giving $25 million… all of these countries.
“You talk about women and women’s rights? So these are people that push gays off business — off buildings. These are people that kill women and treat women horribly. And yet you take their money.”
But despite repeatedly attacking Clinton for failing to stand up for LGBT rights in the country, Trump himself failed to raise the topic during a visit while signing a lucrative arms deal that helps solidify the regime’s control.
Trump spent several days in the country on an international trip, signing an arms deal with the Saudi King Salman.
During his visit, failed to raise LGBT rights once.
A statement said the visit focused on “underscoring the deep and longstanding commitment of the United States to the security, stability, and prosperity of Saudi Arabia”, as well as “working jointly to address challenges to regional peace and security”.