Egypt to conduct anal exams on men suspected of gay sex

Egypt to conduct anal exams on men suspected of gay sex

Egypt to conduct anal exams on men suspected of gay sex:

While the world is still grappling with the idea of accepting members of the LGBTQIA community, there are some incidents that make us question whether we are progressing as a society or regressing further.

On September 23, unfurling of a gay pride flag at a Lebanese alternative rock band Mashrou’ Leila’s gig in Cairo led to the country’s largest LGBTQIA crackdown. The incident, called the Rainbow Flag incident, stirred rage in the locals and as many as 33 arrests have been made ever since then.

Egypt to conduct anal exams on men suspected of gay sex

 

Cairo! This was one of the best shows we've ever played! Was an honour to play to such a wonderful crowd! So much love! <3

A post shared by Mashrou Leila | مشروع ليلى (@mashrouleilagram) on

Out of the 33, 2 were arrested for the public appearance of the flag. The other 31 arrests were made in the last nine days in Cairo, Giza and Damietta. On what grounds? For ‘promoting sexual deviancy’ and ‘debauchery’, both of the charges are usually perceived and brought against gay individuals.

The person who unfurled the flag was a woman and is the first woman to be arrested on such charges in years, that too in a conservative country like Egypt.

 

According to an Independent report, in a statement, Najia Bounaim, an Amnesty International’s North Africa Campaigns director said,

“The scale of the latest arrests highlights how dangerously entrenched homophobia is within the country. The Egyptian authorities’ announcement that they are investigating the rainbow flag incident as a criminal act is utterly absurd. No one should be punished for expressing solidarity with LGBT individuals or based on their perceived sexual orientation. The authorities must urgently halt this ruthless crackdown and release all those arrested immediately and unconditionally.”

There are no laws against homosexuality in the country, yet people perceived to be members of the LGBTQIA community are discriminated against. And there are arrests made on grounds of debauchery and immorality.

At least five of those detained recently had been subjected to anal examinations. It determines whether or not they’ve had gay sex. Anal examinations amount to torture and are said to be a violation of human rights law, according to the rights group Human Rights Watch.

This is one of the most aggressive crackdown on the LGBTIQA community in the country since 2001. Police had arrested 52 men on Queen Boat (a floating disco).

Out of the arrested men in the Rainbow flag incident, 16 were tried on Sunday (October 1) and are waiting for their verdict on October 29. One man has already been sentenced six years of jail time on similar grounds.

The lead singer of the band is openly gay and the band faces a lot of issues while getting permission to perform in conservative countries. The band issued a public statement on their Facebook page on October 3, condemning the act by the Egyptian government.

 

Such homophobia is alarming, don’t you think? We as humans, should be taking a step forward in acknowledging everyone’s sexuality and embracing each being, rather than doing the opposite.

Cover Image Courtesy: American Horror Story

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Egypt to conduct anal exams on men suspected of gay sex
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