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14 gay men in Egypt sentenced to three years behind bars

Egypt's terrifying crackdown on the LGBT community continues

By Joshua Haigh

An Egyptian court has sentenced fourteen gay men to three years in jail for “abnormal” sexual relations.

While homosexuality isn’t outlawed in Egypt, people have recently been charged with debauchery after authorities launched a crackdown on members of the LGBT+ community.

Defense lawyer Ishaq Wadie revealed that 11 of men have been released until an appeals trial, which will be held at a later date. However, the trials of three other suspects is being delayed over procedural reasons.

The brutal crackdown comes after the rainbow flag was flown at a Mashrou’ Leila concert in Cairo back in September. The Lebanese band is known for tackling issues of sexuality and politics and has an openly gay frontman.

Since the show, it’s thought at least 30 people have been arrested, including 10 who were directly linked to the event.

However, The Times of Israel claimed that the number of people arrested is over 70, and that some of them were even subjected to anal examinations.

The state of LGBT+ rights in the country has become a grave cause of concern in recent years. Last month, an Egyptian lawmaker proposed a new bill that would criminalise homosexuality.

The bill would arrest LGBT activists or any person “engaging in homosexuality in a public or private place”. First-time offenders could be jailed for up to three years while repeat offenders could face five years in jail. make homosexuality illegal.