Unspeakable Crimes 7 Worst Capital Punishments for Being (Illegally) Gay  

Joanne Phillips
357.3k views 7 items

Homosexuality has a long way to go in the United States, but an even tougher, bleaker road to pass through in other parts of the world. Particularly in Africa and the Middle East where the Islamic law is held in extreme rigor, homosexuality is dealt with as an outright crime and is sometimes even punishable by death. Here are the worst forms of government-mandated punishment for simply being homosexual in different parts of the world.

List of penalties for being homosexual where it is illegal is a reminder that not all parts of the world are as accepting of a gay lifestyle as others. Take this list of punishments for homosexuality as a cautionary tale and cross your fingers that the world will come to its senses and show some tolerance sooner than later.
Hanging is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 7 Worst Capital Punishments for Being (Illegally) Gay
Photo: via Wikimedia

Believe it or not, there are still countries today (yes, today) that enforce the death penalty for homosexuality.

The following are countries that find homosexuality punishable by death: Mauritania, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, Somalia, United Arab Emirates, Somalia, parts of Nigeria and parts of Malaysia (I know).

According to The Boroumand Foundation, there were at least 107 recorded executions in Iran related to homosexuality between 1979 and 1990. However, the execution of Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni in 2005 drew the most international attention because disturbing photos of their hanging were found distributed across the web (see image). The controversy revolved around the fact that the two individuals were gay teenagers.

Uganda may also soon even add itself to the list of countries that find homosexuality punishable by death. A Ugandan lawmaker explains that "this is a piece of legislation that is needed in this country to protect the traditional family" (sound familiar?)

This statement was actually given in 2010 after a story ran on October 9 in a newspaper called "Rolling Stone" of Uganda's "100 top homos." The tabloid (cough, government) published pictures, names and address of the alleged "criminals" asking that they be hanged or killed on command.

The headline of the front-page story flat out reads "Hang Them."

For more disturbing images and coverage of Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni's hanging, click here. see more on Hanging
Decapitation is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 7 Worst Capital Punishments for Being (Illegally) Gay
Photo: via Imgur

In May 2008, at the height of persecution in Senegal when gays were being rounded up by policemen, beaten and tortured, many people fled to neighboring countries for safety. However, those who sought freedom in Gambia, the south of Senegal, ran straight into a living nightmare. Instead of offering solace, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh promised "stricter laws than Iran" on homosexuality. He held a political rally telling homosexuals to leave his country within 24 hours or their heads would be cut off.

Yes, decapitation.

He said in his speech, "The Gambia is a country of believers...sinful and immoral practices [such] as homosexuality will not be tolerated in this country."

Keep in mind that this is the same guy who has so much authoritative power he's even claimed to have discovered a cure for HIV and AIDS in a mixture of herbs (yet is conveniently just "not using it to help the world.".

The image to the left is a picture of President Jammeh administering his miracle concoction to a dying patient (it didn't work.) see more on Decapitation
Stoning is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 7 Worst Capital Punishments for Being (Illegally) Gay
Photo: via Reddit

Stoning is a method of capital punishment that is as close to being buried alive as you can get, only without the convenience of suffocation and a LOT more pain.

Sudan is one country that uses stoning as part of their punishment for homosexual behavior, particularly against women. Lesbian women in Sudan are stoned and given thousands of lashes on their very first offense. They are buried up to their neck in the ground while being pelted with stones at the head. Meanwhile, gay men in Sudan are given lashes for the first offence and the death penalty on the third.

Stoning in Nigeria, however, is not only exclusive to homosexual women. Death by stoning is strictly enforced for any married or divorced Muslim man engaged in same-sex sexual activity. International alarm was raised in 2005 when a 50-year-old man in northern Nigeria was stoned to death under Islamic Sharia law after admitting homosexual sex.

Another case backed by media attention is one in Kabul, Afghanistan involving a 84-year-old man charged with homosexual activity.

After a high-tech Taliban version of stoning which consists of a tank pushing a stone wall over the person (take a moment to re-read that), the accused victim actually survived. He was then taken to a hospital because by Islamic law if a person survives the stoning after 30 minutes, they are permitted to continue living.

He was soon talking to reporters and told the "Afghan Daily News" that he was innocent. see more on Stoning
Imprisonment is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 7 Worst Capital Punishments for Being (Illegally) Gay
Photo: via Twitter


The Afghanistan Law of Marriages defines a legal marriage to be between two Muslim adults of the opposite sex. Any other variation outside the Islamic law in Afghanistan is met with the death penalty or up to 15 years of imprisonment.

Saudi Arabia instills a similar form of punishment for homosexuality and cross dressing. The two have long been deemed as immoral acts by the Saudi judicial board, who advised Muslim judges in 1928 to treat "Liwat" (or sodomy, and in this case gay sex) the same way as fornication (premarital sex).

If caught engaging in extramarital sexual activity while being married, one must be stoned to death, which means that if most American celebrities lived in that Saudi government, they would have been stoned (and not the kind of stoned they are right now). If someone is not married and is caught in extramarital affairs, one must be whipped and banished for a year. That's right, they still "banish" people for small offense like that somewhere in the world.

In April 2000 the Saudi government sentenced over 100 men to time in prison and lashings for simply attending a same-sex wedding ceremony or birthday party.

Interestingly enough, the law is not always obeyed by those behind it. Take Saudi Prince Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud who killed his servant Bandar Abdulaziz in London.

Though the prince has denied being gay, several pieces of evidence that surfaced later prove otherwise. A barman at the Sanderson Hotel in which Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud was staying claims the prince hit on him, suggesting they go on a date. Two male escorts also visited the prince's suite and police has proof that he had visited gay escort websites. Lastly, the violence set upon his servant was not only physical but found to be sexual as well.

In the end, Prince Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud got a taste of his own country's medicine and was sentenced to a long prison term -- which goes to show exactly how stringent the law is against homosexuality in Saudi Arabia that even the prince himself is subject to its rule.