Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland until I return to the Murcia region of Spain in the Autumn for a month or so
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Wednesday, 19 May 2004

Journalists convicted in Yemen for ' publicly discussing homosexuality'

This report in al-Jazeera is worrying, to put it mildly. The three journalists had originated interviews with men 'jailed for homosexuality' published in an Arabic language newspaper in March 2003 which are said to have 'violated Yemeni morals and customs'.

This kind of case makes me want to cry in anger, and laugh with mirth, both at the same time. It's rather like saying that Catholic priests could and would never indulge in immoral practices either - pull the other one! Undoubtedly there are many genuinely pious people in Yemen who dislike the very idea of homosexuality, but there are also many who (shall be say) have a rather more flexible, ahem, attitude to this whole subject - whatever the so-called 'customs' of the country may be. That is, of course, unless Yemeni society has changed a great deal since I was last there! It really is a pity that Yemeni courts can't find more useful ways of occupying their time than by persecuting people whose only probable 'guilt' is that they were born gay, and then further persecuting those who report such cases.

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