A gay dating app is warning its Egyptian users as a court sentences six men to two years in prison with labour on charges of sexual immorality.
According to Ahram Online, the men were found guilty of “committing debauchery” after they were accused of promoting an apartment on Facebook as a location for gay sex.
When Egyptian police raided the apartment, two of the men were reportedly caught “red-handed.”
In its sentence on Thursday, the court also fined the men E£200 (about R315 / US$27).
Earlier this month, seven men were also arrested for inciting debauchery after they were seen in a video of what appeared to be a gay wedding ceremony on a Nile riverboat. They were forced to endure widely discredited medical exams to “test” if they had engaged in anal sex.
While Egypt does not explicitly criminalise adult consensual gay sex, the authorities routinely arrest people suspected of engaging in homosexual conduct on “debauchery” charges.
The Egyptian authorities are believed to be using social media, including dating apps, to track down and arrest gay men.
Gay hook-up app Grindr has now taken to warning its Egyptian users to exercise caution when setting up dates with other men.
“Egypt is arresting LGBT people, and police may be posing as LGBT on social media to entrap you,” the app warns users. “Please be careful about arranging meetings with people you don’t know, and be careful about posting anything that might reveal your identity.”
On Friday, Egypt attempted to scuttle a resolution condemning violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva. It was unsuccessful and the resolution was passed.