Huthi authorities in Yemen have sentenced seven to stoning and two to crucifixion for ‘homosexual crimes’, it has emerged.
A further 13 students have been sentenced to death for ‘spreading homosexuality’, while prison sentences of up 10 years have been handed down to others and public floggings meted out.
Two Huthi-run courts have sentenced more than 40 people either to death, flogging or prison related to same-sex conduct in total, as per Amnesty International.
The charges include ‘homosexuality’, ‘spreading immorality’, and ‘immoral acts’, according to the human rights group.
“Gruesome public spectacles aimed at spreading fear in the population”
Amnesty has analysed three videos which first appeared on social media on 24 and 25 January showing at least two people being flogged in public by a person in a security uniform.
The videos are believed to have been shot in front of the men’s homes and in the presence of Huthi officials.
In addition, on 1 February a court in Ibb in southern Yemen handed down death sentences against 13 students and flogging sentences to three others on charges of ‘spreading homosexuality’.
All parties to the conflict in Yemen continue to prosecute and target LGBTQ people with arbitrary arrest, torture – including rape and other forms of sexual violence – threats and harassment.
Grazia Careccia, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director, said: “Reports that the Huthi authorities have sentenced nine people to death on charges related to same-sex conduct in gruesome public spectacles aimed at spreading fear in the population are deeply distressing.
“The Huthi authorities must immediately quash the death sentences against these individuals and drop all charges related to their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
“Public flogging is a cruel and inhuman punishment which violates the absolute prohibition on torture and other ill-treatment under international law, and should not be carried out under any circumstances.
“The authorities must immediately and unconditionally release all individuals who are held solely based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
Amnesty is also calling on the government of Yemen to repeal legislation which criminalises same-sex intimacy and end all forms of discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.
Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping have prompted retaliotry strikes by the US and the UK in recent weeks.
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