LGBT people in Egypt targeted in wave of arrests and violence


Members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Egypt are living in fear following a wave of arrests and violence. Rights groups say dozens of people have been detained in the crackdown, which began after rainbow flags were waved at a rock concert on the outskirts of Cairo last month, prompting a furious reaction in the Egyptian media.

The current spike in arrests is part of an ongoing climate of repression against the LGBT community in Egypt. LGBT people have long grappled with government repression, including online surveillance, entrapment and abuse in detention. Homosexuality is not illegal under Egyptian law, but homosexual acts in public are illegal, and members of the LGBT community are often arrested on euphemistic charges, such as “debauchery”.

“It’s truly messed up that the government leaves all the thuggery in the streets, poverty everywhere – and is concerned with what people are doing in their bedrooms,” said Abdel-Rahman, whose name has been changed for his safety. He is now avoiding meeting potential partners in public for fear of being tracked by authorities.(theguardian)…[+]