On Monday, Saudi police arrested two men who appeared to be kissing each other in a video recorded on a Riyadh highway, Sabq news site reported.
The footage was circulated on Saudi Twitter, which led to the launch of a hashtag under which people demanded authorities arrest the men for engaging in what was deemed as "shameful behavior."
In the short clip, the detainees can be seen intimately embracing atop an open area of a moving truck, with a man beside them cheering them on. Given that homosexuality is strictly illegal in the kingdom, the men are now set to face possible prosecution.
Their detainments have made regional headlines but details on where they're being imprisoned or what charges they're being faced with have not yet been shared with the public.
The news triggered homophobes in the kingdom, leading them to post a barrage of insults and derogatory remarks targeting the two men via Twitter.
Some online users even went as far as saying that gays "must be punished by being thrown off the roofs of buildings." The hateful remarks kept pouring in even after the arrests were reported. To many, the comments don't come as a shock as Saudi Arabia is a country where homosexuality is still punishable by death.
The kingdom implements zero-tolerance policies against homosexuals and isn't known as a safe place for them to be.
Any "gay behavior" can get people arrested in the kingdom
Just last year, Saudi authorities arrested tens of people filmed taking part in an alleged gay wedding.
The arrests came days after footage capturing the event broke Saudi internet. The police said the detained men were taking part in a performance of a "gay wedding scene." Their case was later referred to public prosecution but no further updates on it were made public.
In 2017, human rights activists from around the world reported the horrific murder of two transgender Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia.
"Police allegedly killed 35-year-old Amna, and Meeno, 26, both Pakistanis, after raiding a house in Saudi Arabia and arresting 35 transgender people," The Independent wrote at the time.
Authorities in the kingdom also often crackdown on crossdressers and have made several arrests when it comes to that.
Saudi Arabia isn't the only country with laws against members of the LGBTIQ+ community
Many other countries in the region including several Gulf nations, Egypt, and Jordan also impose strict rules and zero-tolerance policies. Anyone who goes against these rules often faces fines, deportations, jail sentences, and, in some cases, death sentences.
Egypt has particularly made headlines for severe crackdowns on its LGBTIQ+ community in the past. In 2017, seven people were arrested in Egypt for raising the rainbow flag at a Mashrou' Leila concert — a Lebanese band whose lead singer Hamed Sinno is openly gay. Egyptian authorities also banned the music group from performing again in the country.
While homosexuality isn't illegal in the North African country, authorities still arrest and jail people suspected of being gay using decades-old prostitution and debauchery laws.