Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender LGBT community in Egypt are living in fear following a wave of arrests and violence. Rights groups say dozens of people have been detained in the crackdown, which began after rainbow flags were waved at a rock concert on the outskirts of Cairo last month, prompting a furious reaction in the Egyptian media. The current spike in arrests is part of an ongoing climate of repression against the LGBT community in Egypt.
There are currently no specific venues for gay men or lesbians in Cairo. The religious lobby were delighted, but the gay scene made itself as invisible as possible, and any events that began to attract a gay crowd were quickly closed. After the revolution, things semed to relax for a bit, but the rise to prominence of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists does not bode well.
Dozens of people have been arrested and put on trial in Egypt in the ensuing crackdown. Some were also beaten and subjected to invasive physical exams, spreading panic in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender circles. There has even been talk of fleeing the country.
We stumbled upon a secret blog, detailing homosexual hangouts across Egypt, and the best way to pick up a willing suitor on the streets. Egypt could soon become a hot spot for foreign gay tourists thanks to a the country's first gay sex guide aimed at randy tourists. The raunchy anonymous blog gives explicit details for foreigners hoping to hook up in Cairo, Sharm El Sheikh and even Upper Egypt.
It would introduce sentences of to up to 10 years in prison for people engaging in or promoting same-sex relations. The law is part of a wider crackdown against homosexuality that started in September when a group of people were seen raising a rainbow flag at a concert, a rare public show of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in the conservative Muslim country. At least 70 people have been arrested and some have been subjected to anal examinations that amount to torture since September.
I know a group of gay men that are interested in visiting Egyptbut they are concerned about their safety as openly gay. Does anyone have any experience with this, and is there anything to worry about? Some9one said it is "illegal" to be openly gay there.
Although homosexuality is technically not a crime, Cairo and Egypt is a conservative society and gay men can, and have been, prosecuted using debauchery and public morals laws with prison terms of up to 17 years. In latethe Egyptian government launched a large crack-down on the LGBT community arresting 57 people in a series of raids. For foreign gay travellers in Cairo, the situation may be nowhere near as depressing, but exercising common sense discretion and caution is advised.
The prevailing public opposition to homosexuality, is especially relevant to how the Egyptian legal system deals with sexual orientation and gender identity issues. Egyptian law does not explicitly criminalize homosexuality or cross-dressing, but it does have several provisions that criminalize any behavior or the expression of any idea that is deemed to be immoral, scandalous or offensive to the teachings of a recognized religious leader. In light of public opinion, shaped by cultural and religious traditions, these public morality and public order-based laws have been used against LGBT people as well as anyone who supports these attitudes.
It was a calamitous ambush. On Oct. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi seems incapable of quelling this menace: An insurgency that has killed hundreds of troops and police officers in northern Sinai continues; judges and police officers in Cairo have been attacked.
An Egyptian television anchor was unexpectedly sentenced to one year in prison for interviewing a gay man on TV last week. The conviction of Mohamed Al-Ghaity, a host on the satellite channel LTV, reveals the lengths the government will go to shut down discussions on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender LGBT issues. During the segment that landed him in jail, Al-Ghaity asked his unidentified gay guest to discuss his experience as a sex worker.