Human rights campaigners have called on Saudi Arabia to release blogger Mohamad al-Bokari, who was detained after stating his support for LGBT+ rights.
According to Human Rights Watch, al-Bokari was arrested on April 8 after an online Q&A in which he said: “Everyone has rights and should be able to practice them freely, including gay people.”
Al-Bokari, who is from Yemen but has been living in Saudi Arabia since last year, is accused of “violating public order and morals” with “sexual references”, the rights monitor quotes a Riyadh police spokesperson as saying.
Police subjected Mohamad al-Bokari to forced anal exam, a homophobic form of torture.
Sources in contact with al-Bokari, inside the Riyadh prison where he is being held, have raised fears about the cruel and degrading treatment he has received.
HRW reports that he was subjected to a forced anal exam by police to determine whether he is gay – a practice which has no basis in science or medicine and is condemned internationally as a form of torture and sexual assault.