Authorities in Egypt have now expanded their crackdown on the country’s LGBT+ community and have arrested 33 people following a concert in Cairo that took place on September 22.
A group of attendees at the Mashrou’ Leila concert were pictured on social media waving a rainbow flag and were later detained by police. But the event has since been used as an excuse for police to target gay and transgender people.
32 men and one woman have now been arrested because of their sexual orientation and Amnesty International reports that at least five people have been forced to undergo anal examinations byThe Forensic Medical Authority.
“In a matter of days the Egyptian security forces have rounded up dozens of people and carried out five anal examinations signalling a sharp escalation in the authorities’ efforts to persecute and intimidate members of the LGBTI community following the rainbow flag incident,” said Najia Bounaim, North Africa Campaigns Director at Amnesty International.
“Forced anal examinations are tantamount to torture – there is no scientific basis for such tests and they cannot be justified under any circumstances.
“The scale of the latest arrests highlights how dangerously entrenched homophobia is within the country. Instead of stepping up arrests and carrying out anal examinations, the authorities must urgently halt this ruthless crackdown and release all those arrested immediately and unconditionally.”
Al Bawaba reports that it’s the worst crackdown on the LGBT+ community since 52 men were arrested on a floating gay nightclub called the Queen Boat in 2001.
The men were charged with ‘habitual practice of debauchery’ and were tortured while held in detention, according to Human Rights Watch.
Similarly, those who have been arrested in relation to the recent concert in Cairo have been charged with ‘promoting sexual deviancy’ and ‘habitual debauchery’ despite the fact homosexuality is technically not criminalised.