Egyptian police have again targeted the LGBT community in a series of morality raids in Cairo ahead of the Eid al-Adha religious holiday this week.
According to Daily News Egypt, the suspects were arrested at two apartments in the suburb of Agouza.
Police confiscated sexual toys and women’s clothing and claim that the men are part of a network selling sexual services through social media.
“These pre-Eid morality raids have been going on for some time,” Dalia Abdel Hameed, head of the Gender Studies programme at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights told Daily News Egypt. “We have almost got used to expecting them.”
While homosexuality is not specifically outlawed in Egypt, LGBT people are often targeted through immorality or public indecency laws.
The Egyptian authorities have conducted a number of crackdowns against the LGBT community, including using social media and dating apps to entrap and arrest people.
In March, it was reported that the authorities created fake social media pages to lure seven people to a Cairo nightclub, where they were arrested for “gay debauchery”.
Police have also conducted raids on bathhouses in order to arrest men believed to be engaging in gay sex. A group of 26 men arrested in a Cairo bathhouse last year were acquitted of all charges in January.
In November last year, eight men who appeared in an apparent gay wedding video were jailed for three years. Their sentence was later reduced to one year by an appeals court.