Police arrest 77 in gay crackdown in Egypt

North Africa and Middle EastOn May 19, 2014 Gay Star News reported: Egyptian activists report increase in LGBTI arrests, particularly targeting gay men and trans people, and stories of torture and mistreatment by police

Gay rights activists in Egypt report police are cracking down on LGBTI people, and in some cases even resorting to torture.

A report compiled by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) shows the crackdown, which particularly targets gay men and trans people, began in November 2012 when seven people were arrested in an apartment in Nasr city and taken to Nohza police station.

Since then, human rights activists have been monitoring arrests, police activity and media responses and have found a worrying increase in the arrest and mistreatment of LGBT people.

Numbers indicate around 77 LGBTI people have been arrested since November 2012.

In this month alone, 11 people have been arrested in Cairo.

A group of five people were arrested on charges of sexual depravity and several transsexuals were among the group of six arrested on a separate occasion.

Legal experts working on the issues also commented on the rapid appearance of ‘vice squads’ (morality police) on the scene of arrests, indicating gays are being targeted.

Also, heavy sentences are being issued within a few days of arrests being made.

In April 2014 four people were arrested in Cairo, two of the group were trans. Within a week of their arrest, the first defendant was given an eight-year sentence and the other three were given three-year sentences.

The harsh treatment of LGBTI people at the hands of the police is also causing great concern.

Reports indicate those arrested are often subjected to physical and verbal abuse, and denied food and family visits.

Some say they were given ‘anal probe’ tests, a way of finding out if someone has had sex which is scientifically invalid, but still common in countries criminalizing homosexuality. It is considered to be a form of torture. Continued

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