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33 arrested after police launch massive hunt for gay people in Egypt

33 arrested after police launch massive hunt for gay people in Egypt

Fans wave rainbow flags at Mashrou' Leila gig in Cairo.

Egypt police have arrested 33 people after police launched a massive hunt for gay people.

In the past three days, authorities have arrested 22 people in their ‘hunt’ to end ‘debauchery’. This means 32 men and one woman have been arrested since people flew rainbow flags at a concert.

According to Amnesty, anal probe torture has been performed on at least five of those arrested.

One man was detained in the Meditterranean port city of Damietta in relation to the ‘incident’.

Six further people were also detained in Cairo in the last 48 hours. It is believed they were caught after going on gay dating apps.

Four further arrests occurred in Giza.

A woman suspected of raising a rainbow flag at the Mashrou’ Leila concert in Cairo was charged with ‘promoting sexual deviancy’ and ‘habitual debauchery’.

A previous protest where an activist flew a rainbow flag at the pyramids in Giza.
A previous protest where an activist flew a rainbow flag at the pyramids in Giza.

This is the first such incident involving a woman in Egypt in years.

On 23 September, a day after the concert, a 19-year-old was arrested on charges of ‘debauchery’. Last week, he was sentenced to six years in prison, followed by six years’ probation.

Others will have their trials in the coming weeks.

Gays in Egypt flee and hide as they fear for their safety

The incident has sparked mass departures from the Egyptian capital, Cairo. GSN understands some activists have fled their homes in the city. Some have even gone abroad temporarily.

And even non-activists are taking steps to hide their identities.

One Egyptian gay man told GSN: ‘Most of my gay friends are deleting their accounts, or at least any gay related posts or groups.’

The Egyptian activists are working with the region’s LGBTI M-Coalition to rally support. And they have urged LGBTI Egyptians to take the following securing measures for their safety:

  • Delete all the chat from your mobiles and delete the Facebook app. Use Facebook only for emergencies and through a browser.
  • Delete all dating apps from your mobile.
  • Do not to meet with someone you have not met before.
  • Do not meet anyone in these points: Faraali Juice Shop at Jamiaat Dowal Street, Ramsis Street facing the Egyptian Museum and Midan Tahrir, Makram Abeed Street in Nasr Avenue, Midan Ramsis Garden adn the Public Bath in Midan Abdel Monhem Riyad.
  • Delete all private photos from your mobiles.
  • In case of arrest, deny all charges against you. Only answer with ‘it didn’t happen,’ ‘I don’t know,’ and ‘not mine’.

Meanwhile the community remains defiant calling on people to support them with the hashtag #WeAreStillStrong.