Egypt media told to increase anti-gay coverage
The Egyptian government is reported to be encouraging the country’s media to report on arrests of gay people.
Editor of the Tahir News, Ibrahim Monsour, believes that the government is issuing direct instructions to the media to report on “sex scandals” in order to distract from political stories. He told Buzzfeed News: “These are instructions from the state apparatus” to cover sex scandals and other “silly” issues.
“The regime is claiming that they represent the revolution and none of the revolution’s demands have been met.
“Unfortunately, money talks. The problem is that there is no decency, no conscience among the people who work in the field.”
In December, 26 men were arrested in a bathhouse in Cairo, after a tip off from TV journalist Monas Iraqi. She appeared to be working closely with the police, and broadcast images of the men being lead out naked.
While homosexuality is regarded negatively by the majority of Egyptians, and arrests for “immorality” are common, many people sympathised with the arrested men. They felt Ms Iraqi had gone too far, and the cases against the men were dismissed.
Dalia Abd El-Hameed, of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights said: “That cooperation between the police and the media, I think it was supposed to sensationalize the public against LGBT people. I think it mattered that people said, ‘No, you went too far,’.”