Saudis to prosecute homosexuality, and atheism on social networks

Saudi official says that up to 25,000 Arabic language Twitter accounts are carrying out a "planned culture war."

Twitter [Illustrative] (photo credit: REUTERS)
Twitter [Illustrative]
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Saudi Arabia is amending Internet laws in order to prosecute social networking websites it sees as spreading homosexuality, child prostitution and atheism, the London- based Al-Hayat reported on Sunday.
Dr. Fayez Al-Shehri, a member of the country’s Shoura Council and its adviser on new media, told the Arab daily that there are around 25,000 accounts that propagate homosexuality and child prostitution on Twitter, and another 4,500 disseminating atheism.
He said that he watches the accounts that appear in various languages and that between 15,000-25,000 of such accounts appear in Arabic.
Shehri confirmed that these accounts target Saudis and use local terms and names of people belonging to major tribes and families in the Kingdom, describing what is happening as a “planned culture war.”
The Council is the closest thing the kingdom has to a parliament, though its members are not elected. They are appointed by the king and cannot make laws, only issue recommendations. However, these recommendations have often prefigured Saudi reforms.
Reuters contributed to this report.