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Police in Egypt have now arrested 57 LGBT rights supporters in crackdown

By Will Stroude

Egyptian police have now arrested 57 people who have been accused of being gay or supporting LGBT rights.

The detainees have been charged of “debauchery”, “inciting sexual deviancy” and “joining an outlawed group”.

The arrests began after rainbow flags were flown at a Mashrou’ Leila concert in Cairo last month and police have been on a hunt for LGBT people and allies since, even subjecting them to anal examinations.

Egyptian media have described the incident as a “scandal,” with one MP calling it a “disaster” and “contrary to religious values and behaviour.”

According to Gay Star News, nine people have received prison sentences that range from one to six years. Around thirty-five people are facing trail while two straight individuals, Sarah Hegazy and Ahmed Alaa, have been detained for 15 days.

It’s currently unknown what has happened to the other 11 people.

Homosexuality is not explicitly criminalised under Egyptian law, though other laws on ‘morality’ are sometimes used to persecute LGBT people.

Mashrou’ Leila’s openly gay frontman slammed the crackdown on the LGBT community, saying: “We cannot begin to explain how saddened we are to see yet another era of backwards tyranny creep over one of our most beloved countries and audiences.”

“This crackdown is by no means separable from the suffocating atmosphere of fear and abuse experienced by all Egyptians on a daily basis, regardless of their sexual orientation.”

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