Ten men arrested for allegedly attending a ‘gay wedding’ in Mauritania

The men were only attending the birthday party of a gay colleague.

Ten men have been arrested in Mauritania for allegedly attending a ‘gay wedding.’ The men were arrested in the country’s capital, Nouakchott, after a video of the event surfaced online.

Although the police commissioner of Nouakchott, Mohamed Ould Nejib, confirmed that the men were only attending the birthday party of a gay colleague, attended by gay domestic workers, they will still face charges.

A government official said that the men were facing charges of “acts contrary to morality, committing acts forbidden by Allah, and circulating a ceremony of debauchery.” Current law in Mauritania says that a Muslim man caught having sex with another man could face the death penalty.

Brahim Bilal, the president of a human rights organisation in the country, said: “It is a serious attack on the individual and collective freedom of these young people who have the right to display their difference and intimate preferences.”

Last year, Brunei introduced the death penalty for people convicted of homosexuality. Although the death penalty is still in place, following an international backlash the Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiwah, announced it would not be enforced.

In a statement, which in a rare move was translated into English, the Sultan said: “I am aware that there are many questions and misperceptions with regard to the implementation of the SPCO [Syariah Penal Code Order]. However, we believe that once these have been cleared, the merit of the law will be evident.

“As evident for more than two decades, we have practised a de facto moratorium on the execution of death penalty for cases under the common law. This will also be applied to cases under the SPCO which provides a wider scope for remission.”

He added: “Both the common law and the Syariah law aim to ensure peace and harmony of the country. They are also crucial in protecting the morality and decency of the country as well as the privacy of individuals.”

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