Egyptian police recently arrested a student in the Giza district of Kerdasa for “debauchery” after allegedly organizing a concert for gay people. The Egypt gay concert never happened. Now the student and one other man face legal charges.
The student allegedly rented a venue for an Egypt gay concert planned to take place on Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018. When the student went to meet the venue owner, egyptindependent.com reports, police arrived and arrested both men.
Egypt’s recent and massive anti-LGBT crackdown began by targeting a musical event when police arrested several young people who waved a rainbow flag at a Cairo concert in September 2017. The concert was that of Mashrou’ Leila, a Lebanese band whose name means “A Night Project” in Arabic. Mashrou’ Leila’s lead singer, Hamed Sinno, is openly gay.
Since homosexuality is not criminalized in Egypt, people are often arrested and charged with vague crimes like “debauchery,” “immorality” and “blasphemy.” Police will sometimes entrap gay and bisexual men by trading sexy personal pics on social apps and then busting the men later for “publishing online debauchery.” Suspected gay and bi men are sometimes subjected to sexually humiliating, torturous and medically inconclusive anal exams before trial to “prove” their homosexuality.
In November 2017, 14 allegedly homosexual men in Cairo were sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for “incitement to debauchery.”
In October 2017, Egyptian legislators proposed a law calling same-sex sexual encounters “perverted” and punishing anyone who provides LGBTQ spaces or symbols with years of prison.
John Tanzella, President and CEO of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA), the world’s largest LGBTQ travel organization, warned that Egypt’s anti-LGBTQ laws could hurt the country’s tourism industry, a significant source of revenue for Egypt, crucial to the nation’s economy. About 14.7 million tourists visit Egypt annually providing nearly $12.5 billion in revenue.
Featured image via Twitter