Haram Misdemeanor Court sentenced four members of the gay community to three years in prison on Saturday, each on charges of committing acts “inconsistent with public morality and homosexuality,” that fall under Egypt’s ‘debauchery law’, inside a residential apartment in Hadayeq al-Ahram.
Police arrested the defendants after receiving an arrest warrant from the public prosecution. The authorities confiscated aphrodisiacs and sex toys.
Homosexuality is not illegal in Egypt. But in the late 1990s, the police stepped brought back the use of two old laws – a 1950 anti-prostitution law and a 1961 law against “debauchery” – to arrest and charge the practicing LGBT community. The highest-profile action was a raid in Cairo in 2001 on the Queen Boat, a gay-friendly club on the Nile, where 52 men were arrested.
The latest crackdown against the LGBT community in Egypt was last month after a concert for the Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila, during which members of the gay community held up rainbow flags.
Rights groups say that police arrested 57 people after the Mashrou Leila concert, and sentenced ten of them to six years in prison after being convicted of “debauchery”.
Edited Translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm