Saudi paper: Authorities crack down on 21 alleged homosexuals

A Saudi newspaper says religious police have arrested 21 alleged homosexual men and confiscated large amounts of alcohol at the same location. Al-Medina daily says the Commission for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, which employs the religious police, was told Friday of a large gathering of young men at a rest house in Qatif, in eastern Saudi Arabia. The paper says scores of men were initially arrested but only 21 remain in detention. Homosexuality is seen as a sin in Islam and prohibited in Saudi Arabia and most other Muslim nations. In the conservative kingdom, the offense can be punished by flogging or prison.