6th of October City, outside of Cairo
Following a similar incident last month, another ten people are believed to have been arrested in Egypt on charges of homosexuality.
According to a report by American activist Scott Long, police raided a party of around 200 people on 5 November in 6th of October City, outside of Cairo.
Police arrested mainly young men who looked effeminate. “Police slapped and beat all of them, and kicked and fingered some in the ass,” said Long.
“The vans took them all to a police station in 6 October City. More beatings followed. The officers forced the ‘effeminate’ men to clean the station toilets as punishment.”
Long said that despite police having no evidence that anything illegal took place at the party or any evidence that any of the men had committed homosexual acts, the 10 people were ordered to be kept in custody for 15 days.
The victims were also reportedly sent for forensic anal exams, a practice described by human rights groups as torture and medically inconclusive.
Egyptian media reported that the group is being investigated on charges of “organising the collective exercise of acts contrary to morality, and practicing sexual perversion, and [forming] the headquarters of a business contrary to morality”.
Long revealed that 14 other men arrested in a raid on a Cairo gym in October also remain in prison.
“Do these cases presage a new crackdown, a return of horrors ten years gone, when police slunk into chatrooms and raided private homes, arresting and torturing hundreds or thousands of men to root out ‘sexual perversion’?” he asked.
“Nobody can say yet. But the talk of perverted social media, of foreign influence creeping in, of technology mating with immorality, of hangouts and watering holes that are ‘known’ and watched, is ominous. It suggests that the relative visibility of a small LGBT community, mostly in Cairo’s downtown, is wakening anxieties.”
While homosexuality is not specifically outlawed in Egypt, gay people can be targeted through immorality laws. Egypt has repeatedly rejected efforts by the United Nations to support the right to equality of LGBT people.
In June last year, an Egyptian delegation told the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva that sexual orientation “it is not part of the universally recognised human rights”.