Egyptian police have arrested a man from Cairo based on the accusation that he was the head of a “gay sex network”.

Police reportedly raided beach huts in el-Arish in order to find and arrest the man, but further details and the charges he could face were not given.

Being gay is not illegal in Egypt, but there have been reports of other laws being used to imprison gay men.

An incident  took place in 2001, where 52 men were arrested on board a boat, and 23 were charged for taking part in a gay sex party. Those charged with “debauchery” and “defaming Islam” faced up to five years in prison.

Egypt’s chief diplomatic representative to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva declared at a meeting in June about the universal right to association that gays do not warrant protections and are considered not to be “real people” in the Middle East.

In March, the grandson of veteran Egyptian actor Omar Sharif came out publicly as gay, citing fears for his country’s political future after the Arab Spring.