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Egypt arrests seven men for running alleged gay sex ‘debauchery’ party network

Seven men have been arrested in Cairo, Egypt, for running and organising alleged gay sex ‘debauchery’ parties
Seven men have been arrested in Cairo, Egypt, for running and organising alleged gay sex ‘debauchery’ parties

Egyptian media reported yesterday (31 October) that seven men have been detained and questioned for over four days for their allegedly organising and participating in a gay sex ‘debauchery’ party network, in the El Nozah neighbourhood of Cairo, the country’s capital.

According to the reports, the public prosecutor is preparing a case against the men, as well as assigning a urologist to ‘investigate’ if the men had any ‘incriminating’ sexually transmitted diseases.

Despite the alleged 'suspects' denying the allegation, stating that the security forces fabricated and hyped up allegations.

The story has received wide attention in the Egyptian media and reported in a highly inflammatory and anti-gay manner.

Sources in Egypt have confirmed to GayStarNews that seven men are being held in custody by the Egyptian police for these alleged crimes and are now being organised with legal representation.

The media has widely quoted Ahmad Mouataz, the 20 year-old security officer of the apartment block, where the alleged gay ‘debauchery’ took place, despite him not witnessing any of the events he recounted.

Mouataz claimed that one of the defendants, identified as ‘Muhammad A’ had been renting the apartment for about four months ago with his wife, who only briefly stayed in their new home.

Mouataz alleges that many of that building's residents complained about ‘Mouhammad A’ ‘unacceptable’ behavior, saying that he was talking and walking in a too ‘feminine’ manner.

He also alleged that many ‘rich people’ started to frequent the apartment.

Although Mouataz claimed his colleague Sayed became suspicious when two young guys requested to visit the apartment of ‘Muhammad A’.

Sayed followed them using the backstairs, and was shocked to see the guys naked having sex with other men present.

The guard informed the owner of the apartment block who called the police and requested that the men be arrested fully dressed as he was concerned about the block’s ‘reputation’.

In addition, Mouataz alleged that the porter also used to attend the apartment, but when the police arrived he fled with his wife and children.

Police investigators apparently confirmed to the Egyptian press that the main 'suspect', ‘Muhammad A’ ran a gay ‘debauchery network’ in an apartment located in El Nozha.

General Sayed Shafeeq, director of the investigation, affirmed that he along with six other male detainees, ranging in age between 20-28, ran sex gay parties charging 160 EGP ( £16 €20 $26) entry fee per person.

Shafeeq apparently reported that the police found feminine underwear, make up, wigs, and many bottles of alcoholic drinks in the apartment.

He also commented that the men ran such parties elsewhere but moved the party to this new location after previous residents complained.

Homosexuality is not techinically illegal in Egypt but other charges, including 'public morality', 'debauchery' and others have been previously used against LGBT people.  

Since 2000 certain laws have been used to impose what amounts to a de facto ban on homosexuality and transgender.

In 2000, police arrested an Egyptian gay couple and charged them with, 'violation of honor by threat' and 'practicing immoral and indecent behavior'.

Raids on gay parties have since then escalated, with a in an infamous case of the 'Cairo boat party', where fifty-two Egyptian gay men were arrested and charged with violating these vague public morality laws (inlcuding debauchery).

In the case reported above it seems residents of the building took a dislike to the men/parties going on in their appartment block, rather than a deliberate unwritten policy as in during the Mubarak regime.

Speaking with Gay Star News, Ali, a 23-year-old law student from Cairo said: ‘I don’t know yet what these guys are going to be charged with, I hope it’s not going to a show trial.

‘They need a really good defence team, and possibly some discreet involvement of international campaign groups.

‘There was another case of gays been arrested I saw in the press two weeks ago, besides this and last week's. Three cases in less than a month, that’s really beginning to worry me.

‘The media already throwing wild speculations so it is hard to know what is fact or fiction.

‘I also noticed that these cases are being reported in an even more scandalous manner by the more Islamist based papers as to deliberately inflame public anger.

‘For example this case was reported by some as “homosexual evil worshipers”.

‘I wonder if it is in part an attempt to divert people’s attention from the difficult challenges our country faces and from the political mess we’re in. I really hope this will not be exploited by politicians.’

Mohamed, an Egyptian student in London told Gay Star News: ‘I find the account of the security officer really unbelievable, and the medical check is totally unacceptable.

‘It is getting really scary; these kinds of reports are increasing and will continue if nothing is going to be done.

‘I am so worried now.’ 

Another gay Egyptian from Alexandria who wishes to remain anonymous told GSN: 'Right now the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists are dominating the committee which is rivising the Egyptian constitution - there are debates there about how much Islam should play a part (for example should the law be inspired by Shari'a).  

'I am concerned that this is an attempt to influence the legislators and committee to have even stricter anti-LGBT laws in Egypt inspired by Islam.'

Omar Kuddus, a UK based LGBT and human rights advocate said: 'I have grave concerns about this case.'

'Firstly, the public prosecutor is violating their basic human rights by investigating if they had any "incriminating sexually transmitted diseases", despite their plea of innocence.

'Secondly, the media in Egypt has tried and judged these men, first by branding them homosexual, and second by using the most derogative and inflammatory language.

'Also of concern  and compounded by the above, is the length of time that the suspects were questioned and reliance on what appears to speculations.

'I don’t believe there can be a fair trial now.'

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