Gay Egyptians face "horrific" discrimination and harassment when looking for somewhere to live, a U.N. special rapporteur said, urging the government to give LGBT+ people better protection. At the end of a visit to Egypt this week, Leilani Farha, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing, said LGBT+ people were being evicted, denied housing and harassed because of their sexual orientation. "I cannot turn a blind eye to this. It felt so urgent to me, and I am in a privileged position to talk about a very taboo subject," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Homosexuality is not explicitly criminalized in Egypt, but LGBT+ people have long been targeted under laws on debauchery. "Landlords are refusing to rent to someone who is LGBT. The treatment isn't just suspicious looks - LGBT (people) are being verbally harassed, physically assaulted," said Farha.
The constitution states that all citizens “are equal in rights, freedoms, and general duties without discrimination based on religion, belief, gender, origin, race, color, language, disability, social class, political or geographic affiliation, or any other reason.” It does not specifically mention sexual orientation or gender identity. Many aspects... Expand
The constitution states that all citizens “are equal in rights, freedoms, and general duties without discrimination based on religion, belief, gender, origin, race, color, language, disability, social class, political or geographic affiliation, or any other reason.” It does not specifically mention sexual orientation or gender identity. Many aspects of the law discriminate against women and religious minorities, and the government did not effectively enforce prohibitions against such discrimination.
The law does not explicitly criminalize consensual same-sex sexual activity, but it allows police to arrest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons on charges such as “debauchery,” “prostitution,” and “violating the teachings of religion,” and provides for prison sentences of up to 10 years. Reports of such arrests increased during the year and local rights groups reported at least 16 cases involving up to 100 people. Authorities did not effectively use antidiscrimination laws to protect LGBT individuals. Gay men and lesbians faced significant social stigma and discrimination, impeding their ability to organize or publicly advocate on behalf of LGBT persons. Information was not available on official or private discrimination in employment, occupation, housing, statelessness, or access to education or health care based on sexual orientation and gender identity. There were no government efforts to address potential discrimination.
There were few reported incidents of violence against LGBT individuals, although intimidation and the risk of arrest greatly restricted open reporting and contributed to self-censorship.
On November 1, a court sentenced eight men to three years in prison on charges including “spreading indecent images,” “inciting debauchery,” and “acts endangering public morals” after a video depicting a marriage-like ceremony between two men on a riverboat appeared on YouTube. The sentence also included three years of police monitoring following completion of the prison terms. Lawyers for the defendants claimed authorities subjected the defendants to forced anal examinations during the investigation process, according to HRW.
On December 17, prosecutors referred 26 men to trial on charges of “practicing debauchery” and “indecent public acts” after police raided a traditional bathhouse known as a hammam in Cairo on December 7 and arrested the men. Authorities reportedly subjected 21 of the individuals to forced anal examinations. A private television channel reportedly informed police of the alleged “debauchery” in the hammam and filmed the men as police placed them under arrest. The trial was ongoing at year’s end.
Source: U.S. Department of State's  Human Rights ReportContract
Egypt's crackdown on the LGBTQI+ community has intensified in recent years, with authorities arresting several individuals based on their sexual orientation. But, one Egyptian film director is challenging the homophobia by standing in solidarity with the community in an upcoming film titled "The Wedding." Sam Abbas, also the lead character in the film, said it aims to show LGBTQI+ people in the Middle East that "they are not alone," in a statement to Thomson Reuters Foundation. The film tells the story of a closeted gay man who is getting ready to marry a woman, a reality for many individuals in the region. "The film to me, more than anything, is about repression and alienation," the 24-year-old director said.
The director of a new Egyptian movie about a secretly gay man preparing to marry a woman has said he wanted to let LGBT+ people in the Middle East know they are “not alone”. Sam Abbas, who also plays the lead character Rami, said the secrecy depicted in “The Wedding” was a daily reality for gay people in the region who had to keep their sexuality hidden. “The film to me, more than anything, is about repression and alienation,” Abbas told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in emailed statements. “The Middle East, especially Egypt, is not LGBTQ friendly, so hopefully it will show individuals of the community that they are not alone.” “The Wedding” depicts the inner struggles of a young gay Muslim man living in New York and will show in secret, invitation-only screenings in the Middle East in November to protect viewers.
On 22 September 2017, the rainbow flag was waved at a music concert in Cairo. A brutal crackdown on LGBT+ people followed quickly – clearly designed to intimidate and to erase the pride so bravely on show at the concert. In the one year since the rainbow flag event, the human rights record of the Egyptian regime has only deteriorated. Last year’s crackdown started after a few people attending a music concert by Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila waved a rainbow flag. Over 35,000 concertgoers showed up to see the band and two other Arab bands perform. During the show, fans were photographed waving a rainbow flag – the universal symbol of LGBT+ pride – in solidarity with the group. The government responded quickly. The group was immediately banned from playing in the country, and Egyptian authorities launched what activists and human rights observers believe is the most severe crackdown on the country’s LGBT+ community. Those arrested were charged with “promoting sexual deviancy”.
Amid Egypt’s continuing repression of its LGBT citizens, dissidents, political activists and journalists, actor Khaled Abol Naga keeps promoting LGBT rights. An award-winning actor, stage director and film producer, Naga was named a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2007. He has spoken out on many sensitive social issues, including HIV/AIDS, female genital mutilation and children’s rights. “Gay people are born with romantic tendencies toward the same sex and this is scientifically documented now, just like the roundness of the Earth. Ignorance of these facts is what society lacks to understand what homosexuals are suffering,” said Naga. In 2015, Naga previously sparked social media outrage by endorsing the gay marriage [court decision] in the United States. Naga put on the rainbow logo, representing the gay and transgender (LGBT) movement, on his Facebook profile picture, inciting accusations that he himself was homosexual.
World Cup: Egypt’s Mohamed Salah Accepts Honorary Chechnya Citizenship from ‘Purge the Gays’ Leader Ramzan Kadyrov
Footballer Mohamed Salah is facing anger after he accepted a gift of honorary Chechen citizenship from anti-gay leader Ramzan Kadyrov. Gay people in the region allegedly faced arrest, torture and execution – as the Head of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov publicly insisted that homosexuals are “not people” and should be removed to “purify” the blood of the region. LGBT fans reacted with horror today as Egyptian footballer Mohamed Salah accepted the gift of honorary citizenship of Chechnya presented by Kadyrov during the World Cup.
Ahmed Alaa describes raising a rainbow flag at a crowded concert in Cairo last September as "the best moment" of his life. In photos from the event, he looks ecstatic as he waves the flag in the spotlights of the outdoor stage hosting the Lebanese indie rock band Mashrou' Leila. He posted the photos on Facebook, and others did too. The next morning, he woke up to death threats. A few days later, he was arrested in Egypt's biggest crackdown on the LGBT community in years. He says his sexuality is a private matter, but his hands on the rainbow flag — a symbol of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride — became evidence of what the Egyptian government considers dangerously deviant behavior. "I was shocked at the number of comments threatening to kill me and drag me in the street," Alaa told NPR in Cairo in March, after he was out on bail.
Footballing superstar Mohamed Salah has received a backlash after agreeing to meet the leader responsible for Chechnya’s ‘gay purge.’ The Egypt and Liverpool forward, one of the most famous faces in football, was visited at his hotel by Chechen head Ramzan Kadyrov, whose regime has reportedly engaged in a deadly campaign against gay and bisexual men.
Ahmed Alaa describes hoisting a rainbow flag at a concert in Cairo as the "best five minutes of his life." Now he faces years in prison and says his family and his life have been destroyed. Last September, at a music festival in Cairo, a group of concertgoers raised a rainbow flag in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights. Some of the young Egyptians there described it as a beautiful moment in a socially conservative country. But as NPR's Jane Arraf reports from Cairo, it led to a crackdown against the LGBT community there in Egypt. And a warning, this report contains an offensive term.
A few blocks into the ride, Firas saw the checkpoint, a rare occurrence in a quiet, residential area like Mesaha. When the car stopped, the officer working the checkpoint talked to Firas’ date with deference, almost as if he were a fellow cop. Firas opened the door and ran. “Seven or eight people chased me,” he later told the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, a local LGBT rights group. “They caught me and beat me up, insulting me with the worst words possible. They tied my left hand and tried to tie my right. I resisted. At that moment, I saw a person coming from a police microbus with a baton. I was scared to be hit on my face so I gave in.”
Currently no Stories
The following organization(s) conducts its own work in this country to improve the lives of LGBTI people there and/or funds local organizations doing that work. Please click on the link to learn more about them and support their work.
Currently no Organizations
Currently no Programs