Raids on Homosexuals (Saudi Arabia)

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — A Saudi newspaper says religious police have arrested 21 men on grounds they are homosexual and have confiscated large amounts of alcohol.

The al-Medina daily says Saudi Arabia’s Commission for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice was told yesterday of a large gathering of young men at a rest house in a city in eastern Saudi Arabia. The paper says police initially arrested scores of men but only 21 remain in detention.

Homosexuality is regarded as a sin in Islam and prohibited by law in Saudi Arabia and most other Muslim nations. In the conservative kingdom, the offense can be punished by flogging or prison.