Egypt Jails 11 Men For Up To 12 Years Because They’re Allegedly Gay

The courts claim gay men "incite debauchery."

An Egyptian court jailed 11 men accused of being gay for “debauchery and incitement to debauchery” on Sunday, sentencing them to individual jail times ranging from three to 12 years.

The Daily Mail reports the group of men was arrested in an apartment near Cairo last September. Though the circumstances of their arrest aren’t clear, the debauchery charge suggests they may have been involved in same-sex relationships or were suspected of engaging in same-sex intimacy.

Since Egypt does not have laws forbidding same-sex relationships, debauchery charges are most often used to prosecute men accused of being gay.

Police in the region have been actively seeking gay men to arrest for at least two years.

In September 2014, Grindr issued a message to users in Egypt about cops who were posing as gay men on the app to lure others to traps where they would be arrested and/or assaulted.

Before that year ended, Egyptian courts sentenced eight men to three years in prison for appearing in a video that appeared to be taken at a same-sex wedding (it was later revealed that the men were merely joking about taking part in one), and arrested another 33 in a bath house raid in Cairo.

Both the United States and United Kingdom governments have issued strong warnings to LGBT travelers against traveling to Egypt.

Matthew Tharrett is a writer, filmmaker, and above all else, a Britney fan. He once shared a milkshake with Selena Gomez.
@mattharrett