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Startseite Urgent Actions 2020 07 Yemeni LGBTQI+ rights defender arrested
UA 110/20
Saudia Arabia
Abgeschlossen am 13. August 2020

Yemeni LGBTQI+ rights defender arrested

AI-Index: MDE 23/2641/2020

On 8 April 2020, 29-year-old Yemeni national Mohamed al-Bokari was arbitrarily arrested from his home in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, and detained incommunicado at Malaz prison. Following his arrest, al-Bokari was accused of «perversion» and «imitating women» after he published a video stating his belief in personal freedoms of LGBTQI+ individuals.


The Saudi Arabian authorities have continued to escalate the repression of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, including in their crackdown on online expression. They harass, arbitrarily detain and prosecute government critics, human rights defenders and anyone who dares to express themselves freely.

In November 2019, an official announcement and promotional video published by Saudi Arabia’s state security agency categorized feminism, homosexuality and atheism as «extremist ideas», punishable by jail and flogging. While the state security agency issued a clarification that the definition of extremism in the video «contained many mistakes», leading feminists and women human rights defenders in the country remain detained and prosecuted for their human rights work.

Prior to his arrest, Mohamed al-Bokari’s residency permit in Saudi Arabia had expired. He is currently at risk of being deported back to Yemen, his homeland which he fled after having receiving death threats from armed groups following his defence of personal liberties and human rights. Mohamed al-Bokari also survived an abduction attempt, after which he left Yemen to seek safety in Saudi Arabia.

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