Urgent: homophobic crackdown worsens in Egypt

It started with the waving of an LGBTI+ flag at a concert on 22nd September. Egypt’s security forces and public prosecutor began actively hunting down people based on their perceived sexuality, arresting them and subjecting them to humiliating tests.

The number of those being targeted is increasing at a horrifying rate. Right now, over 70 people have been arrested. Most recently, a Cairo court convicted 16 men of “debauchery” and sentenced them to three years in prison, followed by three years’ probation, making the total number of people sentenced almost 50.  Many others are awaiting sentencing. While in detention, some people have undergone forced anal examinations that amount to torture. 

Currently, over 60 members of parliament have signed a bill criminalizing “same-sex sexual activity” in Egypt. The bill is expected to be discussed and voted on by parliament during its current session, and if approved it would be sent to the president for sign off. The bill sets out penalties of up to 15 years imprisonment, depending on the number of charges and the provisions of law a person is convicted under. 

We need to act now, before it is too late.

Send an email now to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Minister of the Interior Magdy Abdel Ghaffar and urge that they:

  • Immediately and unconditionally release all those detained on the basis of their real or perceived sexual orientation and drop the charges against them, and quash the sentences against those already convicted;
  • Immediately end all forced anal examinations on detainees that are used for the purpose of determining the sexual orientation of the victim,  as they amount to torture and or other ill-treatment and order a prompt, impartial, and effective investigation into the examinations that have already taken place and bring those responsible to justice;

  • Reject the bill criminalising “same-sex activity” and drop any legislation which fails to recognise and protect the rights of everyone, regardless of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, to freedom of expression and assembly, freedom from discrimination and equality before the law.

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