Three years and 450 lashes for being gay

A 24-year-old Saudi Arabian man has been sentenced to three years in jail and 450 lashes for trying to arrange dates with other men.

The man, who has not been named, was found guilty of "promoting the vice and practice of homosexuality".

Undercover members of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) posed as a potential date on Twitter, and then arrested the man when he turned up for the date.

His phone was then confiscated and the CPVPV claimed that it held "indecent images" and other data which proved he was gay.

In court the accused pleaded guilty to using his Twitter account to meet other gay men and to possessing "pornographic images of homosexual perversion".

He was sentenced to three years in prison, and to 450 lashes which will be applied over 15 sessions.

Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia and is punishable by imprionment, castration or death by beheading.