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The Saudi Arabian security forces have arrested 110 men at a "gay wedding" party in Jeddah, according to a Saudi online newspaper. Al-Wifaq, which has connections with the interior ministry, said the authorities had raided a wedding hall on Monday night after a tip-off and found the men - all Saudis - dancing and "behaving like women".
Eighty men were later released, but 30 appeared in a Jeddah court on Wednesday to face charges, the paper said.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia and is punished by flogging, jail or death. The raid was made a day after two men described as gay lovers were executed at Arar, in the north of the kingdom, for allegedly murdering a Pakistani who had found out about their relationship.
The interior ministry said Ahmed al-Enezi and Shahir al-Roubli, both Saudis, ran over Malik Khan in their car, beat him on the head with stones and set fire to his body, "fearing they would be exposed, after the victim witnessed them in a shameful situation".
Last year the Saudi police raided another event described as a gay wedding party for two African men from Chad at a hotel in the holy city of Medina. About 50 people were arrested.
One of the Chadians later claimed that the party was a rehearsal for his wedding to a woman, and this was supported by a Saudi who said he had provided money to meet the marriage expenses.
But according to the daily Arab News, investigators said that party invitations "indicated it was a gay function".
The investigators also found it suspicious that many of the guests had fled at the sight of the police and left their cars behind. It is not known whether anyone was prosecuted.
Despite the heavy penalties for homosexuality, most Saudi cities are said to have underground gay networks which organise parties in private villas, and sometimes in hotels.
Saudi executions are not systematically reported, and officials deny that the death penalty is applied for same-sex activity alone.
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