ALERT EGYPT – LGBTQ community facing violent repression

Alerts, Egypt, Mashrek, Women’s rights and gender justice

EuroMed Rights is very concerned by the recent wave of arrests against LGBTQ individuals in Egypt.

The LGBTQ community is currently facing harassment by Egyptian authorities. If homosexuality is not specifically outlawed in Egypt, anti-prostitution and debauchery laws are frequently used to target LGBTQ individuals.

According to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, between September 19th and October 2nd, 57 people have been arrested for “promoting sexual deviancy” and “debauchery” and put on trial. Eight people have already received prison sentences, ranging from 1 to 6 years. This measure is part of a wider repression against homosexuality that erupted last week, when a group of people were seen raising a rainbow flag at a concert in Cairo. We urge Egypt to halt this crackdown against people suspected of homosexuality.

Among the other measures of retaliation, an order to ban all forms of support towards the LGBTQ community on media outlets has been released by the Supreme Council for Media Regulation (SCMR). According to Egyptian authorities, homosexuality is considered a “shameful disease” that should not be promoted through Egyptian media; homosexual people should only appear in the media to show repentance and admit their homosexuality as non-acceptable behaviour.

EuroMed Rights condemns these developments and in particular the illegal practice of conducting forced anal examinations. We call upon Egyptian authorities to stop invasive physical tests which amount to torture against detainees in their custody. EuroMed Rights also condemns the media blackout on the LGBTQ community; the right to freedom of expression online and the ability of individuals to communicate freely and seek and receive information should be respected, in conformity with international human rights law.


NB: Read the letter sent by a cross-section of MEPs to the EU’s foreign affairs chief calling on the EU to act against arrests, torture and summary trials of dozens of Egyptian LGBTQ and youths.