21-Year-Old Gay Man Faces Death Penalty For Posting Drag Photo On Instagram

A 21-year-old gay man in Abu Dhabi is facing the death penalty for posting photos of himself in drag on Instagram. Originally from Lebanon, he is being prosecuted on charges of “practicing” and “promoting” homosexuality. He is denying the charges.

The Abu Dhabi Criminal Court in fact showed the man wearing “short women’s clothes, wigs and make-up”. Prosecutors in his case also claimed he posted his number and offered sexual services to men.

The United Arab Emirates website 7days reported that an “undercover officer posing as a customer contacted the man and made an appointment. The man was then arrested in a sting operation when he met the undercover cop.”

Having denied the charges, the defendant told the court that it was a friend who posted the photos online with his phone number and that this was done without his knowledge.

The trial has been adjourned until Oct. 26.

In the United Arab Emirates, where this trial is taking place, homosexuality is punishable with fines, jail time, deportation and even the death penalty. It is therefore one of 10 countries where homosexuality is still punishable by death.