Saudi gov’t arrests gay man for wearing leopard shorts at beach

“The police [have changed] my charges to electronic crimes, taking photos of nudity,” Suhail al-Jameel tweeted.

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October 16, 2019 22:10
1 minute read.
Saudi gov’t arrests gay man for wearing leopard shorts at beach

The rainbow flag, commonly known as the gay pride flag or LGBT pride flag, is seen during the first Gay Pride parade in Skopje, North Macedonia June 29, 2019. (photo credit: REUTERS/OGNEN TEOFILOVSKI)

An openly gay Saudi man claimed on Twitter that he was arrested for wearing shorts at a beach in the ultra-conservative Islamic country.

The 23-year-old Suhail al-Jameel wrote to his over 171,000 Twitter followers on Sunday that the authorities charged with him sharing nudity online.“The police [have changed] my charges to electronic crimes, taking photos of nudity,” he wrote, adding, “How am I nude if I am wearing shorts on a hot beach?”


Jameel wrote, “In 2019 LGBTQ are not welcomed in Saudi Arabia, you must live in secret and can’t live in peace. You want tourism but you won’t give us freedoms.”

Jameel posted a photo of him wearing leopard colored shorts on October 6.


LGBTQ media outlets like the UK’s Pink News said there was indication that Jameel was arrested for being gay. Saudi Arabia’s new public decency laws prohibit wearing shorts. The strict laws were introduced in September as part of the kingdom’s move to open the country to tourists.

It is unclear what criminal penalty Jameel could face. He retweeted a tweet stating that a three year prison sentence is ridiculous. Volker Beck, a German Green Party politician and LGBTQ activist, told The Jerusalem Post last week that "it is a perversion of unjust states like Iran and Saudi Arabia that alleged or actual homosexuality is presented as an accusation that can cost you your life. It is time for the international community to outlaw states punishing homosexuals."

Beck was responding to the Iranian regime's arrest of  Mohsen Lorestani, a well known Iranian Kuridsh singer, for allegedly being gay. The Islamic Republic of Iran has executed 4,000-6000 gays and lesbians since its 1979 revolution, according to a 2008 British WikiLeaks cable.  


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