Egyptian police hunt gays using Grindr
Police are exploiting Grindr and other dating sites to hunt members of the LGBT community in Egypt, it has been claimed.
A recent crackdown on gay people by the Egyptian authorities has caused alarm, with a series of warnings issued by gay rights activists.
France 24 reports an anonymous 20-year-old man from Cairo said: “In the current climate, I no longer dare to use applications to meet people. Undercover police agents use the applications to set up meetings with gays in cafes. It’s a trap.”
Another anonymous source close to the LGBT community in Egypt remarked: “It’s a bad system right now,” he said. “There have been a number of arrests in the last few months linked to these applications. They are using technology to triangulate the location.”
While not specifically outlawed, under morality laws punishment for same-sex sexual activity can be up to 17 years in prison with or without hard labor and fines.
Back in May four individuals were arrested during a same-sex party in Cairo.
One man was charged with the longest sentence ever given to an LGBT person in Egypt – twelve years imprisonment.
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Last week seven men were arrested after being seen in a video at a gay wedding ceremony.
Earlier this week the married couple featured in the video were ordered by the public prosecutor’s office to undergo “medical tests” intended to determine their sexuality.
In response, Egyptian gay rights activists and the popular Gay Egypt website have warned the LGBT community against using Grindr and other gay dating sites, in order to avoid police entrapment.
Since October 2013, an alleged 77 LGBT people have been arrested through the Egyptian police’s targeting of gay hangouts and raiding homes linked to LGBT gatherings.
Grindr recently disabled the use of location data in some countries including Egypt, over concerns that users can be tracked down.