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 Post subject: Re: Egypt and sex
PostPosted: Sun Apr 20, 2014 5:13 pm 
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Egypt court gives men 3-8 years for homosexuality
7 April 2014

CAIRO (AP) -- A judicial official says an Egyptian court has convicted four men of committing homosexual acts and sentenced them to up to eight years in prison.

The Nasr City misdemeanor court issued its ruling on Monday. Police arrested the men for holding parties they say involved homosexual acts and where they found women's clothes and makeup. Three of the four received eight years while one received three years with hard labor.

In 2011, a high profile trial of 52 men accused of being gay caught international attention and drew criticism from rights groups. Twenty-three of them were sentenced to up to five years in prison while the rest were acquitted. Egyptian law does not explicitly refer to homosexuality, and prosecutors usually level charges that include terms such as "debauchery."

Source: AP.

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 Post subject: Re: Egypt and sex
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:06 pm 
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Sex harassment now crime in Egypt
By MAGGIE MICHAEL
5 June 2014

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The revolution of 2011 did not bring liberation for women. Photo: AFP

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's outgoing president on Thursday decreed sexual harassment a crime punishable by up to five years in prison, a much-anticipated move toward combating the abuse deeply rooted in this Mideast country.

The decree was among several last-minute decisions by President Adly Mansour who is to hand over power on Sunday to president-elect, Egypt's former military chief Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. The anti-sexual harassment decree amends the country's current laws, which did not criminalize sexual harassment and only vaguely referred to such offenses as indecent assault.

In Egypt, violence against women in public space has grown over the past three years of turmoil since the 2011 ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak. The decree says harassers face between six months to five years in prison, with harsher sentences reserved for offenders holding a position of power over their victims, like being a woman's superior at work or being armed with a weapon.

The decree also defines a sexual harasser as a person seeking to achieve "an interest of a sexual nature," according to presidential spokesman Ehab Badawi. Offenders would be prosecuted whether they commit harassment in public or in private, and repeat offenders would see their sentences doubled, Badawi said.

Along with the maximum five-year sentence, offenders would be fined up to 5,000 Egyptian pounds, or about $714, with the maximum fine reserved for harassers who use a weapon or pressure. The decree acts as an amendment to existing laws, which may disappoint some women's rights activists who have demanded completely new legislation on the issue.

Last year, a joint report by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, Egypt's Demographic Center and the National Planning Institute found that more than 99 percent of hundreds of women surveyed in seven of the country's 27 provinces reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment, ranging from minor harassment to rape.

The breakdown in the police force in the wake of the 2011 uprising that ousted Mubarak left the streets in Egypt even more unsafe for women. Over the past three years, including under the year-long rule of Mubarak's successor, Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, there have also been multiple mass sexual assaults on women during political protests.

Initiatives to counter harassment also multiplied. Volunteer groups started escorting women, especially during political gatherings. Activists offered self-defense classes for women and social networking sites launched "name and shame" campaigns. However, many say harassment will continue as long as Egypt's conservative Muslim society discriminates against women, accusing them of dressing immodestly and mixing with men in public and thus provoking harassment.

Source: Yahoo! AP.

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 Post subject: Re: Egypt and sex
PostPosted: Sun Sep 07, 2014 1:39 pm 
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Egypt prosecutor orders 7 held for homosexuality
6 September 2014

CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's top prosecutor ordered Saturday seven men detained and physically examined over accusations of "debauchery," a charge often leveled at gays, after a video emerged of a same-sex wedding party, the state news agency reported.

A statement from the prosecutor's office said the suspects are also accused of broadcasting footage that "violates public decency," ordering them detained for four days and urging investigators to refer them to trial swiftly "to protect social values and mete out justice."

In Egypt, consensual same-sex relations are not explicitly prohibited, but other laws have been used to imprison gay men in recent years, including "debauchery" or "shameless public acts." In April, four men were convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison for debauchery after holding parties that involved homosexual acts where women's clothing and makeup were found.

In 2001, Egypt grabbed world attention when 52 men were arrested in a police raid on a Nile boat restaurant and accused of taking part in a gay sex party. After a highly publicized trial in an emergency state security court, 23 of the men were convicted and sentenced to prison terms of one to five years for immoral behavior and contempt of religion.

In the Saturday case, the state news agency said that police are still looking for two more men involved in the incident. The statement described the video, which appeared online, as showing "a devilish shameless party" where two of the men were getting married. The prosecutor said the video dates back to April.

A video on news website Youm7 shows two men in suits putting rings around each other's fingers and hugging as friends celebrate on a boat. The video footage had been edited to conceal the men's faces.

Source: AP

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 Post subject: Re: Egypt and sex
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2014 7:36 pm 
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Egyptian police use dating sites to hunt down gay people
16 September 2014

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Screen grab from the video below, showing a gay marriage ceremony.

Though homosexuality is not illegal in Egypt, police have been using social media and smartphone applications to hunt down and arrest gays and lesbians.

Two gay Egyptians, who hide their sexuality and live in fear of being arrested, tell us their story.

A week ago, seven men were arrested after they appeared in a video showing a marriage ceremony between two men. The footage showed a gay couple exchanging vows and rings under a traditional canopy on a boat on the Nile, in the presence of a small group of friends. The footage was shared across social media and was picked up by the local press, who condemned this ceremony.



At the beginning of the week, the public prosecutor’s office ordered the two men featured in the ceremony to undergo “medical tests” that were supposed to be able to determine if they were homosexual. However, after the men were “tested,” the authorities admitted that the results showed that they had not engaged in homosexual relations.

Homosexuality is not illegal in Egypt. Despite this, numerous people have been arrested while taking part in festivities celebrating gay unions and accused of “debauchery.” In May, for example, four men were arrested during a party organised in Nasr City, located east of Cairo. One of them was sentenced to 12 years of prison, the heaviest sentence ever given to an LGBT person in Egypt.

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This photo was published on a Facebook page calling for an end to the persecution of LGBT people in Egypt. The sign reads: “Liberty for Arabic homosexuals! Love is not a crime".

According to accounts given by numerous witnesses, police are using gay online dating sites, such as Grindr, to hunt down LGBT people. Egyptian gay rights activists have published numerous messages warning members of the community to refrain from using these applications. According to several gay rights activists, at least 77 LGBT people have been arrested since October 2013.

Karim Ahmad
"I was chased out of a cafe in Cairo because I was with an effeminate friend"

Karim Ahmad (not his real name) is 20-year-old medical student. He lives in Gizeh, near Cairo.

I’m lucky because my parents and my older brother know and accept that I am gay. At first, when I told my father, he was very angry and kicked me out of the house. But he let me return soon after because he realised that it wasn’t my fault. But outside of this small family circle and a few gay friends, no one knows. I am very careful not to let my secret out because it could get me in big trouble.

In Egypt, there is a kind of religious fascism. People think that gays are perverts, that they have no morals and that they only think about sex all the time. I’m lucky because I don’t look effeminate and so I go unnoticed. But when I am with a friend that does look effeminate, people always insult us. A few days ago, we were sitting in a cafe. When we called the waiter over, he came to our table and asked us to leave the restaurant. We were furious. We asked to see the manager and he said: "Get out of here! I don’t want problems in my café ". That hurt me deeply.

In the current climate, I no longer dare to use applications to meet people. Undercover police agents use the applications to set up meetings with gays in cafes. It’s a trap. About a week ago, a friend of mine was arrested in this way in Cairo. I still haven’t heard from him. When I tried to call his parents, they claimed he was visiting family in another city. I’m scared he’ll be tortured or raped. Moreover, he’s a fragile person and the police could force him to name other gays… like me, for example.

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“Homosexuality is not a crime,” reads this sign. Photo published on Facebook.

"The police aren’t just targeting well-known gay hangouts, they are increasingly raiding homes when they think there is a LGBT party going on"

Samia A. is a gay rights activist in Egypt. She is currently part of a Facebook campaign calling for an end to the persecution of LGBT people in Egypt.

Since October 2013, there has been a real manhunt for gay people in Egypt. The police aren’t just targeting well-known gay hangouts; they are increasingly raiding homes when they think there is an LGBT party going on. I think the new intensity of this repression is tied to the political situation in Egypt. Since President Sisi came to power, he has wanted to show Egyptians that he is as conservative as the ousted Muslim Brotherhood.

I am part of an underground group that helps LGBT people in need. When an LGBT person is arrested, we try to get in touch discreetly with their close friends and family to offer them support. We also reach out to lawyers who specialise in human rights to defend them. Gay people who are arrested are often given heavy sentences after expedited trials [Editor’s note: The four people arrested in Nasr City in May were sentenced only four days after their arrest].

On social media, we try to alert people about places that are under police surveillance and let them know that they should avoid these places. We also tell them to be careful, to not give out personal information online and to avoid any applications that use geolocalisation like Grindr, Hornit, Scruff, Gay Dating, etc.

Every once in a while, we organise gatherings between trustworthy members of the LGBT community in secret locations in Cairo so that we can give out practical advice and information. We hope that those who attend, in turn, will share this information with the gay people they know. We also try to provide counseling services so that they realise that they don’t need to feel guilty and that their homosexuality is neither an illness nor a form of sexual perversion.

The most at-risk people in the LGBT community are the transsexuals because they have to buy hormone injections on the black market, which means that they are not at all regulated. What’s more, these injections are expensive, costing about 150 Lires [the equivalent of 16 euros], and you need to take them several times a week. They often become sex workers to pay for these treatments.

As part of our Facebook campaign, we are asking people who identify with our cause to send us photos of themselves holding a sign with a message of support for people in the LGBT community. We hope that a large number of people join our cause — and not just from Arabic countries, but from all over the world, in order to increase pressure on the Egyptian authorities so that they’ll stop persecuting the LGBT community. I’m hoping for the support of international NGOs. All we’re asking is to live with dignity.

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"I am neither a criminal nor am I ill. I am gay. I’m an Egyptian citizen. I’m a normal person, like you" states the person who posted this photo on Facebook.

Source: France24.

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 Post subject: Re: Egypt and sex
PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:33 pm 
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For some gays abroad, social networking poses risk
28 September 2014
By DAVID CRARY

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For gay men in the dozens of countries that criminalize their sex lives, social networking can be a blessing or a curse.

High-tech dating apps and social media have enabled countless men to expand their circles of friends and lovers in settings that are hostile to any overt trace of homosexuality. Yet the same technology that they gratefully embrace can expose them to the risk of blackmail, arrest and violence.

In one chilling case earlier this year in Pakistan, police arrested a paramedic on suspicion of killing three men he had met via the gay social network Manjam, which is based in London but has many users in Asia and the Middle East. The suspect told police he considered homosexuality to be evil.

More recently, bloggers and activists raised concerns about how the popular dating app Grindr could be used to pinpoint a user's exact location - even a user living where gay sex is outlawed. After complaints mounted, Grindr announced steps this month to reduce the risks for users in countries with a record of anti-gay violence - including Russia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Liberia, Sudan and Zimbabwe. And during the past week, Grindr posted a warning to its users in Egypt that police - as part of an ongoing crackdown on gays - "may be posing as LGBT to entrap you." The warning urged users to be careful when arranging meetings with strangers.

Grindr's CEO, Joel Simkhai, says his Los Angeles-based company strives to maximize security and privacy for all its users, yet he cautions that governments hostile to gays can muster powerful surveillance resources. "They have a lot of control and smarts on their side," he said. "We try to use the latest technologies on our end, but so do they, so this tension will continue. If your security is a big issue for you," he added, "a location-based service might not be the best option."

The potential perils of social networking have attracted the attention of the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, a New York-based watchdog group.

Hossein Alizadeh, the commission's program coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, said he has tracked two main categories of cases in the region - some in which blackmailers connect with gay men and then threaten to expose them, others in which cyber police and morality police use dating apps and chatroom sites to entrap and arrest gay men. He cited one recent case in Saudi Arabia involving a man from Jordan who was jailed for eight months, then deported. "No lawyer was willing to defend this poor soul," Alizadeh said.

Another Saudi entrapment case was recounted recently on the blog of Scott Long, founder of the LGBT-rights program at Human Rights Watch who is now based in Cairo as a consultant. Long posted the account of an Egyptian man in his 30s, working as a pharmacist in Saudi Arabia, who said he was entrapped by Saudi police through use of a gay online chatroom and spent two years in a Jeddah prison cell along with dozens of other men convicted of homosexual acts. "A lot of them had been arrested on the Internet," the Egyptian man wrote. "The religious police know all the apps and chatrooms. Some of them had got a phone call asking to meet, from someone they'd talked to before on WhatsApp, and that guy turned out to be police."

A guide offering advice on strategies in the event of arrest has been developed by Alizadeh's organization for gays in Iran. "Even if you are on Grindr or Manjam, in most countries that's not a crime - but sodomy is," Alizadeh said. "There's always an element of deniability. If you have a good lawyer, you can argue, `How do you prove I'm gay?' But finding a good lawyer is not always possible."

Sharif Mowlabocus, a senior lecturer at the University of Sussex in Britain, is an expert on digital media and LGBT culture who's been closely following the debate over social-networking security. His verdict: Many gay consumers have been naive. "The service is free or cheap, it is fast, and - for gay men - it allows us to connect with like-minded folk in a way that we've never been able to before," Mowlabocus wrote in an email. "We simply aren't that interested in asking questions of these applications."

Simkhai, the Grindr CEO, called the apps "a lifeline to the gay world" for gays in hostile cultures. Given such attitudes, Mowlabocus said companies that operate gay dating apps have a duty to protect their users and to be transparent about their security measures.

Should men in countries with anti-gay laws stop using such apps altogether?

Mowlabocus considers that unrealistic. "Add loneliness, isolation, or even desire into the mix and we very quickly begin to see the real benefits outweighing the potential risks."

According to human rights groups, there are more than 70 countries which criminalize gay sex. Gay bars and social clubs either don't exist or operate covertly in such places, which makes dating apps a tempting method for making contacts. "The lure of being with other people like yourself - it's something people have a deep desire for, even when there are incredible risks," said Andre Banks, executive director of the international gay-rights group All Out.

For location-based dating apps such as Grindr, the security challenges are especially acute because of the very feature that makes them popular. They are designed to help a user make contact with other users in his vicinity - showing their photos and indicating how close they are. Users' precise locations are not shown during regular use of the app, but controversy arose earlier this year when a Grindr user in Europe was able to determine near-exact whereabouts of thousands of other users, including some in countries with anti-gay laws. This was done via a technique known as trilateration - recording other users' distance from three different locations.

Confronted with criticism, Grindr announced steps this month to reduce the risks for users in countries with a record of anti-gay violence. "Any user who connects to Grindr is these countries will have their distance hidden automatically by default," the company said. Launched in 2009, Grindr says it now has about 2.1 million active monthly users in the U.S. and 2.9 million abroad, including many in countries that outlaw gay sex. The company reports about 17,400 average monthly users in the United Arab Emirates and more than 4,200 in Saudi Arabia, for example.

Another globally popular gay dating app, SCRUFF, also has taken steps to address security concerns. SCRUFF's CEO, Eric Silverberg, said recent technical modifications enable users to continue learning about other users in their vicinity, but seek to thwart any entrapment efforts by refraining from listing the users in order of their proximity. "I think you'll see both the users and the apps getting smarter," Silverberg said. "It takes both sides."

Launched in 2010 and based in New York City, SCRUFF claims 7 million users, more than half of them outside the U.S. For users in countries hostile to gays, SCRUFF plans to post country-specific alerts detailing the scope of anti-gay laws. The company also says it will make "hide distance" a default setting in such countries, while warning this may not always guarantee security.

Grindr recently shared with The Associated Press some of the responses it received from an informal survey of users in countries where gay sex is outlawed. A Venezuelan living in the United Arab Emirates said Grindr was widely used there despite worries that the UAE secret police sometimes create fake Grindr profiles in order to make arrests. He said one acquaintance managed to avoid arrest by paying a bribe, while another served a 3-month jail term before being deported. A user from Ghana said some of his friends had been beaten and robbed by men they had met on Grindr who had claimed to be gay. Yet he also credited the app for helping him meet some "good guys."

Source: AP.

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 Post subject: Re: Egypt and sex
PostPosted: Sat Nov 15, 2014 10:19 am 
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8 convicted for alleged same-sex wedding in Egypt
1 November 2014
By HAMZA HENDAWI

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Eight Egyptian men convicted for "inciting debauchery" following their appearance in a video of an alleged same-sex wedding party on a Nile boat cover their faces as they leave the defendant's cage in a courtroom in Cairo, Egypt, Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

CAIRO (AP) -- An Egyptian court on Saturday convicted eight men for "inciting debauchery" following their appearance in an alleged same-sex wedding party on a Nile boat, sentencing each of them to three years in prison.

The Internet video shows two men exchanging rings and embracing among cheering friends. The eight were detained in September when a statement from the office of Egypt's chief prosecutor said the video clip was "shameful to God" and "offensive to public morals."

Egypt is a conservative majority Muslim country with a sizable minority of Christians. Homosexuality is a social taboo for both communities and only in recent years have fiction and movies included gay characters. Consensual same-sex relations are not explicitly prohibited, but other laws have been used to imprison gay men in recent years, including "debauchery" or "shameless public acts." Same-sex marriage is unheard of in Egypt.

The verdict was received with protesting screams by relatives waiting outside the Cairo courthouse court. Some of them broke down and cried while others protested that medical examinations carried out by state doctors showed the defendants were not gay.

While inside the defendants' cage for the hearing, the eight buried their heads in their hands or hid their faces under baseball caps. They covered their faces with pieces of cloth or paper when they were led by police out of the cage after they heard the verdict.

The verdict is the latest in a crackdown by authorities against gays and atheists. The campaign also targets liberal and pro-democracy activists and violators of a draconian law on street protests.

New York-based Human Rights Watch said in September that Egyptian authorities have repeatedly arrested and tortured men suspected of consensual gay conduct. HRW condemned Saturday's convictions as part of a widening campaign of intolerance in Egyptian government and society.

"Egypt's government, evidently not satisfied jailing opposition members, students, and human rights activists, has found the time to prosecute (gays)," said Graeme Reid, HRW's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights director, in a statement. Reid called the sentencing "the latest signal that the new government will prosecute anyone to try to bolster its support."

In April, four men were convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison for "debauchery" after allegedly holding parties that involved homosexual acts and where women's clothing and makeup were found. In 2001, Egypt made headlines around the world when 52 men were arrested in a police raid on a Nile boat restaurant and accused of taking part in a gay sex party. After a highly publicized trial in an emergency state security court, 23 of the men were convicted and sentenced to prison terms of one to five years for immoral behavior and contempt of religion.

Egypt's crackdown on gays and atheists is taking place as the country of nearly 90 million people appears to be steadily moving to the right, with jingoism and xenophobia dominating the media as the army and security forces battle Islamic militants waging a campaign of violence against them in the Sinai Peninsula. The media, meanwhile, is targeting civil society groups and activists, accusing them of being foreign agents on the payroll of sinister foreign organizations.

Authorities say the country's national interests must take precedence over everything else so Egypt can be spared the fate of countries like Syria, ravaged by a three-year-old civil war, or neighboring Libya, where radical Islamic militias control large areas of the oil-rich nation.

A much harsher crackdown targets members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the now-banned Islamist group that has been labelled a terrorist organization by the state. Authorities have killed hundreds of Islamists and jailed thousands since the military last year toppled the regime of Mohammed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood. Morsi's ouster took place in July 2013 as millions of Egyptians staged street protests to demand his removal.

Source: AP.

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 Post subject: Re: Egypt and sex
PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:07 pm 
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Egypt's gays go deeper underground, fearing crackdown
20 December 2014
By MAGGIE MICHAEL

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In this Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014 photo, a gay Egyptian lights his cigarette in Cairo, Egypt. Egypt’s gay community is going deeper underground in fear after police arrest dozens of men at a Cairo bathhouse in a raid that was then featured on a lurid TV tabloid program stirring up public panic over “debauchery.” Egypt’s government is cracking down on gays, activists say, to promote its credentials as protectors of public morals. (AP Photo/Nariman El-Mofty)

CAIRO (AP) -- Just before midnight, the police navigated down the narrow alleys of an old downtown Cairo district and descended on a rundown bathhouse.

They dragged out dozens of nearly naked men, who covered their faces as they struggled to hold up towels, and loaded them into police trucks. There to film it all was an Egyptian television presenter, who claims she actually triggered the raid by tipping off police about alleged homosexual activity in the bathhouse. Days later, she aired what she boasted was an expose of "a den of mass perversion" spreading AIDS in Egypt.

The raid last week is the latest in a crackdown that gay rights activists say has made 2014 the worst year in a decade for Egypt's gay community. Homosexuals have been driven deeper underground, fearing not only arrest but also the public scare-mongering against the community drummed up in the media.

"I was devastated," a gay woman in Cairo's upscale district of Zamalek told The Associated Press, speaking of the raid and the images aired on "The Hidden," a lurid TV expose program. "Every time there is an incident, the community starts to hide underground ... while police go hunting," she said. Like others, she spoke on condition of anonymity because of fear of retribution. "If this interview were a year ago, I wouldn't hide my identity because I love who I am," she added.

Activists say that by cracking down on gays, the government of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi aims to boost its credentials as a protector of morals and religious values in a competition with its rival, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists. El-Sissi led the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi from power last year, and since then security forces have all but crushed the Brotherhood, arresting more than 20,000 and killing hundreds as they put down Islamist protests. The government has also arrested secular opposition figures, effectively silencing any voice of dissent.

At the same time, pro-government media have been whipping up fears of threats to society from outsiders, whether foreign plotters, homosexuals, atheists or even devil worshippers. Gays are taking precautionary measures. They avoid public places where they used to gather and stay away from Internet and dating applications, fearing police traps. Some contemplate leaving the country. "We are an easy prey, the weakest link," one gay man in his 30s said. "The regime is at war with Islamists and we are small thing they can crush on their way and as part of their propaganda war." He said he now avoids social gatherings and is careful when talking on the phone or when using dating mobiles apps like Grindr. "I am even afraid at home with my partner," he said.

Around 150 men this year have been arrested or are on trial in connection with homosexuality, the highest number in more than a decade, said Scott Long, an American activist and researcher on gay rights. He said this is the worst year since 2001, when police raided a Nile boat restaurant and arrested 52 men accused of holding a gay party.

This year, police have made arrests nearly every month, sometimes in raids on houses, said Long, who tracks such incidents. "There is consistent pattern of invading private life. Arresting people in their apartment, breaking down their doors, looking for evidence of `deviance', what underwear you wear, looking for condoms in the drawers," Long said. "This is a strong message by the state power to pervade private life. It's a cynical, opportunistic kind of power play," said Long. Under Morsi, the ruling Islamists "didn't need to prove their moral credentials," he said, but for el-Sissi's government, "there is a need to show they are defending the moral principles of Egypt."

The men arrested in the bath, Long said, so far have been unable to hire lawyers since private lawyers refuse such cases and even rights groups are keeping a distance since they already fear being targeted by the government. In previous incidents, detainees faced abuse in prison and are often shunned by their families, he said.

In a swift move, Egyptian prosecutors on Wednesday referred 26 men to trial. Five of them were charged with facilitating and inciting debauchery in exchange for money, and the others were charged with "indecent public acts." The trial is to start Dec. 21.

In Egypt - where both the Muslim majority and Christian minority are deeply conservative - homosexuality is strongly taboo, and a gay rights movement has never really been able to gain any traction. No law explicitly criminalizes homosexuality but vague laws against "debauchery" and other charges have been used against gays. Still, the gay community has long been active underground. Amid the pro-democracy atmosphere sparked by the 2011 uprising that ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak, many gays felt cautious optimism, though they feared the rise of Islamists.

This year has firmly pushed gays back into hiding, however. Last month, an Egyptian court sentenced eight men to three years in prison on charges of "inciting debauchery" after they appeared in a video taken during a party on a Nile boat in which they appeared to exchange rings in what prosecutors alleged was a same-sex wedding.

The media was central in the bathhouse raid, which was shown on "The Hidden," hosted by TV presenter Mona el-Iraqi. A team from the show filmed inside the bathhouse then notified police that homosexual activity was taking place inside, el-Iraqi said on her Facebook page. A force from the vice squad then raided the site. El-Iraqi posted pictures of herself on the scene, taking cell-phone photos of the men being led out of the bathhouse by police. A hidden camera filmed inside the bathhouse but depended on a team member account to describe acts of homosexuality without showing evidence.

El-Iraqi promoted the program as part of campaign against HIV. The Egyptian Association for Combating AIDS later denounced the program and said in a statement that comments by one of its officials who appeared on the show were taken out of context. After coming under heavy criticism, el-Iraqi denied that homosexuality was the target of her program, saying on her Facebook page on Thursday that it meant to address "sex trafficking in a public place" and that her and the police's actions "were taken to prevent a crime that even Western countries prohibit by law."

Source: AP.

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 Post subject: Re: Egypt and sex
PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 7:35 am 
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Egyptian gays living in fear under Sisi regime
By Jay Deshmukh and Abdelhalim Abdallah
January 2, 2015

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Egyptian men on trial for appearing in a video prosecutors claim was of a gay wedding on a Nile riverboat enter the courtroom in Cairo on November 1, 2014

Cairo (AFP) - Since the night police stormed into a Cairo bathhouse and dragged out a group of near-naked men, Hassan Sherif fears a widening police crackdown on homosexuals in Egypt.

The 32-year-old gay man, who lives with his boyfriend in a Cairo apartment, feels they could be among the next targets of police action that activists say has intensified under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. "There is a constant fear and anxiety. I never had this kind of feeling in my life. Now you are afraid in your own home," said Sherif, who did not give his real name for fear of retribution.

A doctor by profession, Sherif is still haunted by television images of the December 7 night-time raid on the public bathhouse. Police targeted the hammam after television presenter Mona al-Iraqi tipped them off, saying the bathhouse had become a "den of male sex trafficking". Days later she aired the footage of the raid on "The Hidden," a weekly programme shown on pro-regime private satellite channel Al-Qahira Wel Nas. On Sunday, a Cairo court will hold the second hearing in the case of 26 men arrested for alleged debauchery amid accusations of homosexual activity at the public bath.

In another case, eight men were recently sentenced to one year in prison for broadcasting a video which prosecutors said was of a gay wedding on a Nile riverboat. "The problem is not the family, or society," said Sherif. He pointed instead to the police, saying: "They are scaring us."

Systematic clampdown

Egyptian law does not expressly ban homosexuality, but gays have previously been arrested and charged with debauchery in a Muslim society that is deeply conservative. The authorities have regularly conducted controversial forensic anal tests on detainees, and homosexuals have been jailed on charges ranging from "scorning religion" to "sexual practises contrary to Islam".

Activists feel Sisi's regime is targeting homosexuals with renewed force, with more than 150 people arrested since November 2013 for alleged debauchery and prostitution. "There is a systematic security clampdown against homosexuals," said researcher Dalia Abdel Hameed of the human rights watchdog Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. "The state could be trying to prove that it's more Islamic than the Islamists ... or it could be a message to show the return of the police," she said.

The police are also spearheading a deadly crackdown against supporters of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first freely elected leader who was ousted by then-army chief Sisi in July 2013. Since then at least 1,400 people have died in the crackdown.

Bothaina Halim, a 34-year-old vivacious gay woman living in an upscale Cairo neighbourhood, is also extremely worried after the arrests of suspected gays. "It shows that we are less protected than we think ... We are the perfect target for the state," said the aspiring writer who is in a serious relationship. For most Egyptians, homosexuality is a crime or a disease." Halim told her friends at 18 that she was a lesbian, but she refuses to discuss her sexuality with her family with whom she lives.

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Eight Egyptian men on trial for doing a video prosecutors claimed was of a gay wedding hide their identities as they sit in the defendents' cage during their trial in Cairo on November 1, 2014 (AFP Photo/)

A report by the US-based PEW Research Centre said only three percent of Egyptians accept homosexuality.

State must ban filth

"We are the punching bag for the state ... The state is trying to show they are the guardians of Islam," said Sherif. "I remember a time when everyone used to go to the same parties, and hang out in the same places... Now we live in clusters," he said, acknowledging that he had previously visited the Cairo bathhouse that was raided.

Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's most prestigious seat of learning that is closely linked to the Egyptian bureaucracy, defends the police crackdown. "There is a difference between freedoms and degeneration," said Sheikh Abbas Shoman, a senior official at Al-Azhar. "The state is not the guardian of religion, but it is the protector of religious values ... If the state and the president don't ban such filth, what is their job then?"

Halim sees a "super bleak" future for Egyptian gays. "It's a constant struggle to adjust not just in the space the state has allowed, but also within us to reaffirm ... that we have the right to our own bodies," said Halim.

Source: Yahoo! AFP.

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 Post subject: Re: Egypt and sex
PostPosted: Sun Jan 25, 2015 3:18 am 
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Egypt defence lawyers challenge police in hammam case
January 4, 2015

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In the past, homosexuals in Egypt have been jailed on charges ranging from "scorning religion" to "sexual practices contrary to Islam" (AFP Photo/Raul Arboleda)

Cairo (AFP) - Defence lawyers for 26 Egyptians accused of "debauchery" at a Cairo bathhouse challenged police procedures in the case on Sunday.

The men were arrested on December 7 in a night raid on a hammam in the Azbakeya district of the capital.

Egyptian law does not expressly ban homosexuality, but gay men have previously been arrested and charged with debauchery instead. Defence lawyer Tareq al-Awdi on Sunday accused the policeman who led the raid of falsifying his report. "Thirty-three men were arrested and the officer later freed seven of them. That wasn't in his report, which is illegal," Awdi said. Nor did he mention that he had authorised the arrests to be filmed.

Islam Khalifa, defence lawyer for 14 of the defendants, said the officer claimed that all the suspects were homosexuals, but medical reports proved this was not so.

Controversial medical tests -- condemned by international human rights groups -- have long been used in Egypt to identify suspected homosexuals. Third defence lawyer Khaled al-Nakkash said his client had been told by police to remove his clothing before being taken out of the bathhouse. A private television channel subsequently broadcast footage of men in underwear or with towels round their waists after the raid.

An AFP journalist in court said the case was adjourned until Monday after a hearing lasting for two hours. In the past, homosexuals in Egypt have been jailed on charges ranging from "scorning religion" to "sexual practices contrary to Islam". On December 27, an appeals court reduced jail sentences given to eight men over a gay wedding video that went viral on the Internet to one year each, from three years. They had been convicted in November by a lower court of broadcasting images that "violated public decency".

Source: Yahoo! AFP.

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 Post subject: Re: Egypt and sex
PostPosted: Wed Feb 25, 2015 11:58 pm 
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Egypt court convicts doctor of female genital mutilation
26 January 2015

CAIRO (AP) -- An Egyptian appeals court on Monday convicted a doctor of manslaughter and performing female genital mutilation that led to the death of a 13-year-old girl, sentencing him to two years and three months in prison in the country’s first case that came to trial over the widespread practice, defense lawyers said.

The doctor, Raslan Fadl, was initially acquitted of the 2013 death of Sohair Al Batea in a village in the Nile Delta province of Dakahliya. He was not present in court on Monday and his whereabouts were unknown.

Monday’s verdict was “a triumph for women,” said lawyer Reda Al Danbouki, who represented the deceased. Egypt has one of the highest rates of female genital mutilation in the world and criminalised the practice in 2008, but it remains widespread. “I am really happy,” Al Danbouki said following the ruling. “Here is a judge that understands.”

The lawyer said the court also fined Fadl $70 and ordered his clinic closed for a year, and handed Al Batea’s father a three-month suspended sentence for complicity in subjecting his daughter to the procedure.

Rights advocates said the ruling could serve as a deterrent for doctors and families against the practice. The trial was the first in Egypt on charges of breaking the 2008 ban on the practice. The case came to trial only after significant pressure from rights groups.

“It is fantastic news that Sohair has finally been given justice. This is a monumental victory for women and girls in Egypt,” said Suad Abu Dayyeh, the Middle East and North African consultant for the international women rights group Equality Now. “The country has shown that it will implement its laws and we hope that this is the first step toward ending this extreme form of violence against women once and for all,” Abu Dayyeh added.

More than 90 percent of women in Egypt are estimated to have undergone female genital mutilation. Equality Now said in an email that almost one in four survivors of female genital mutilation in the world is from Egypt. The practice generally involves the cutting off of all or part of the clitoris and sometimes the labia. It is performed on both Muslims and Christians and is believed to control a young woman’s sexual appetite.

It is practised in 29 countries, mostly in East and West Africa, but also in Iraq and Yemen. Rights groups see it as a way to control female sexuality that causes physical and psychological damage.

Despite the trial, Fadl had continued to work in his clinic. An employee who answered a call to his centre on Monday said she had no information on the ruling and declined to discuss Fadl’s whereabouts. She spoke on condition of anonymity because she was not authorised to talk to media.

Source: AP via Gulf News

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 Post subject: Re: Egypt and sex
PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2015 9:32 pm 
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Man in Egypt tortured, jailed for one year for going on gay hookup app
By Joe Morgan
24 June 2015

A Syrian gay man is facing a year a jail in Egypt after allegedly looking for sex on a gay hookup app.

The refugee fled to the country for a new life, hoping to be free from Islamic extremists who are ritually murdering gay people in Syria. And when he arrived in Egypt, he began to settle in. He soon started to go online to look for other gay men.

But one man he spoke to turned out to be an undercover officer from Egypt’s Morality Police. When they met up, the gay man was immediately arrested. He was then forced to undergo an anal ‘probe’ test, where ‘doctors’ check the anus for ‘proof’ he has engaged in anal sex. These tests are widely considered to be an act of torture and by human rights organizations. He was sentenced with ‘inciting debauchery’ and ‘solicitation to commit immoral acts in public’, the Times of Israel reports.

The defendant’s lawyer Ahmed Hossam denied allegations his client engaged in gay sex. ‘There wasn’t a crime in the first place. The crime was in the imagination of the officer himself,’ Hossam told the Egypt Independent. ‘No debauchery happened. Second, sending personal messages is unconstitutional? Searching an innocent person isn’t allowed according to criminal procedure code in Egypt.’

This incident proves the crackdown on Egypt’s LGBTI community is getting worse. In September, seven Egyptian men were arrested of debauchery after appearing in a video that showed two men getting married on a Nile riverboat. And then in December, 26 men were arrested for allegedly participating in a ‘gay sex party‘ at a bathhouse where they were paraded naked live on TV. They were acquitted in January.

Source: Gay Star News

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 Post subject: Re: Egypt and sex
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Egypt "hunting down" gays, conducting forced anal exams - Amnesty
30 September 2017

CAIRO (Reuters) - Six Egyptian men arrested for “promoting sexual deviancy” and “debauchery” on social media will be subjected to anal examinations ahead of their Oct. 1 trial, Amnesty International said on Saturday.

Their arrest is part of a wider crackdown against homosexuality that started last week 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 11 people have since been arrested, Amnesty said, and one man has been sentenced to six years in jail after local media launched a highly critical campaign against those who raised the rainbow flag at a Mashrou’ Leila concert, a popular Lebanese alternative rock band whose lead singer is openly gay.

Amnesty said the Forensic Medical Authority was due to subject the six men to anal examinations to determine whether they have had homosexual sex. Judicial sources said any defendant accused of “debauchery” or “sexual deviancy”, a euphemism for homosexuality in Egypt, is subjected to a medical examination based on an order from the Public Prosecutor. “Allegations of torturing or insulting those medically examined are lies not worth responding to. The examinations are carried out by a forensic doctor who swore to respect his profession and its ethics,” one judicial source said.

Amnesty said such examinations violate the prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment under international law. “The fact that Egypt’s Public Prosecutor is prioritizing hunting down people based on their perceived sexual orientation is utterly deplorable. These men should be released immediately and unconditionally – not put on trial,” said Najia Bounaim, North Africa Campaigns Director at Amnesty International. “Forced anal examinations are abhorrent and amount to torture. The Egyptian authorities have an appalling track record of using invasive physical tests which amount to torture against detainees in their custody. All plans to carry out such tests on these men must be stopped immediately.”

Egypt’s Muslim religious establishment is voicing its support for the government’s moves against homosexuals. “Al Azhar will stand against calls for sexual perversion the same way it has stood against extremist groups,” a preacher at the 1,000-year-old seat of Sunni Muslim learning said in his Friday prayers sermon.

Although homosexuality is not specifically outlawed in Egypt, it is a conservative society and discrimination is rife. Gay men are frequently arrested and typically charged with debauchery, immorality or blasphemy. The largest crackdown on homosexuals took place in 2001, when police raided a floating disco called the Queen Boat. Fifty-two men were tried in the case.

Reporting by Ahmed Aboulenein; Additional reporting by Haitham Ahmed; Editing by Stephen Powell
Source: Reuters

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 Post subject: Re: Egypt and sex
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Egypt arrests 7 for raising rainbow flag at indie rock gig
By Brian Rohan
26 September 2017

CAIRO (AP) — Egyptian authorities have arrested seven people they accuse of being gay and promoting homosexuality for allegedly raising the rainbow flag of the LGBT movement at a concert last week, even though there is no law banning the practices.

The flag was a rare sign of support for highly marginalized homosexuals in conservative Egypt. It took place at a Cairo performance on Friday by popular Lebanese indie rock band Mashrou' Leila, a jazzy, electro-Arabesque group whose lead singer is openly gay.

The seven were arrested on Monday and charged with "inciting immorality," security officials said, adding that the Supreme State Security Prosecution acted after authorities discovered the seven had "raised the flag of homosexuals." The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to journalists.

Homosexuality is highly taboo in Egypt among both majority Muslims and the Christian minority, but it is not explicitly prohibited by law. In practice, however, the state regularly seeks to prosecute individuals under alternative charges, including "immorality" and "debauchery," which are normally reserved for prostitution. Prosecutors also sometimes charge gay people with "blasphemy," which is also considered a crime in a country with severe limits on free speech.

Shortly after the concert, images and videos of the flag-raising went viral, with some praising the move but others posting virulent attacks on social media. An exasperated host on one television channel urged Reza Ragab, the deputy head of the official musicians union, to explain how such a thing could have happened "on Egyptian soil." "We are against gay art," Ragab said in a phone interview on AlAssema TV. "It is depraved art." He said the band had all the necessary permits, including approval by the ubiquitous state security services, but added that the union would ban the group from further performances.

Mashrou' Leila has played in Egypt before, although the group was twice banned from performing in Jordan over allegations its musicians violate the kingdom's traditions and commit blasphemy. It is one of the Arab world's few rock acts to gain significant resonance in the West, playing its Arabic-language fusion to a growing number of fans in Europe and the United States.

The band on its Facebook page called the Cairo show, held in a mall in an upscale suburb, one of the best they had ever played, and that it had been an "honor to play to such a wonderful crowd." The feed became a culture war battle zone in subsequent posts, however, with some users hurling insults while others defended the group.

Egypt regularly arrests gay men, with large police raids on parties or other locations such as bath houses occasionally creating media sensations. The most famous raid was in 2001, when 52 men were arrested at a dance party on a floating nightclub moored on the Nile called the Queen Boat. The men were put on trial in a highly publicized proceeding during which they were mocked in the media, which published photos of them as well as names and addresses. Almost half were sentenced to prison after a trial that was widely criticized by human rights groups and Western governments.

Source: AP

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