Recently, Brunei was in news for being the country who almost enforced the law of stoning those who were found to have ‘unnatural sex’, or rather a homosexual. However, they did away with this law considering the large number of protests faced by the nation. It is easier to oppose such customs in today’s times thanks to social media and the unified global feeling of supporting the LGBTQ community. However, in the medieval, ancient times it was tough to convince people to cease cruelty.
There are still countries like Mauritania, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Iran, Somalia, United Arab Emirates, Somalia, parts of Nigeria and parts of Malaysia where homosexuality is punishable by death. Here are some of the cruel punishments that people who were found guilty of ‘unnatural sex’ which means having sex for purpose other than getting a child, would be punishable even by death.
Back in medieval times, most civil law codes had punishments for such "unnatural acts," especially in regions which were heavily influenced by the Church's teachings.
In the thirteenth century Europe, especially France, homosexual behavior between men resulted in castration on the first offense, dismemberment on the second, and burning on the third. Lesbian behavior was punished with specific dismemberments for the first two offenses and burning on the third as well.
In ancient India, the famous law code Manusmriti provides for punishment to homosexual men and women, explaining that if a girl has sex with another girl, she is liable for a fine of two hundred coins and ten whiplashes, or her head should be shaved or two of her fingers cut off as punishment.
If a man has sex with non-human females or with another man or indulges in anal or oral sex with women he is liable for punishment as per the "Painful Heating Vow" where the man had to drink a mixture of cow urine, cow dung, grass, water, milk, butter and yogurt.
In medieval Europe, something known as Breast Ripper was nasty way of torture. It was mainly used on women who were accused of adultery, unnatural sex, blasphemy, or accused of being witches. It was also used for interrogations. Often heated during torture, the "claws" of the instrument were used to painfully rip off the breasts. The instrument would be latched onto a single breast of the woman who would either die or be disfigured for the rest of her life.
Around 1730s, Utrecht in Dutch Republic became famous for the sodomy trials. Some forty men were tried of whom 18 were convicted and strangled. Death by strangling was the most common punishment for homosexual acts in the Dutch Republic, but other punishments during the 1730–31 purge included hanging and drowning in a barrel of water.
Pear of Anguish, a heinous contraption was used during the Middle Ages as a way to torture women who were accused of facilitating a miscarriage. It was also used to punish blasphemers, and homosexuals. The device was inserted into one of the prisoner's orifices — the vagina for women, the anus for homosexuals. The device featured four metal leaves that slowly separated from each other as the torturer turned the screw at the top which would tear the skin, or expand it to its maximal size to mutilate the victim.
The Judas Chair, was another Italian invention. Using ropes, a prisoner would be lowered above the pyramid-shaped "seat" with the point inserted into the anus or vagina. The intense pressure and stretching of the orifice would cause torture and permanent damage. The victim would at times succumb to rips in the muscle tissue that would later become infected. Weights would be added to facilitate the effect, often resulting in death by impalement.