Yemen: Huthi authorities sentence seven to stoning and two to crucifixion for homosexual 'crimes'

Separately, 13 students sentenced to death for ‘spreading homosexuality’

Prison sentences of up to ten years handed down to others and public floggings also meted out

Sentences condemned as ‘gruesome public spectacles aimed at spreading fear in the population

The Huthi authorities in Yemen must halt planned executions and end the persecution of people based on their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, said Amnesty International, after two Huthi-run courts sentenced more than 40 people either to death, flogging or prison over charges related to same-sex conduct.

On 23 January, a criminal court in Dhamar in northern Yemen sentenced nine people to death - with seven sentenced to be executed by stoning, and two by crucifixion - while 23 others were handed prison sentences ranging between six months and ten years on charges including “homosexuality”, “spreading immorality”, and “immoral acts”.

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.

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