crime and punishment

Saudi Arabian social media star faces three years in prison for wearing short shorts

Suhail al-Jameel (YouTube)

Suhail al-Jameel is a gay social media star from Saudi Arabia with over 170,000 Twitter followers. He regularly posts make-up tutorials, fashion advice, and dance videos to his various social media platforms.

But the 23-year-old says he’s currently facing up to three years in prison after he uploaded a picture of himself on social media earlier this month dressed in a pair of leopard-print shorts.

Yesterday, al-Jameel announced on Snapchat that authorities had just charged him with sharing nudity online, after initially arresting him on October 6 for wearing the shorts at the beach.

In a follow up tweet, he expressed his outrage over the situation.

“In 2019 LGBTQ are not welcome in Saudi Arabia, you must live in secret and can’t live in peace,” he tweeted. “You want tourism but you won’t give us freedoms.”

“The police [have changed] my charges to electronic crimes, taking photos of nudity. How am I nude if I am wearing shorts on a hot beach?”

Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia and the country offers not rights or protections for queer people. The punishment for being LGBTQ, which is widely seen as immoral, ranges from fines to public whippings, chemical castrations, and even death.

Related: Saudi Prince Accused Of Forcing Maids To Watch As He Was “Stroked” By Young Male Aide