An Egyptian court has sentenced 11 men to prison, with sentences ranging from three to 12 years.
Their crime? Simply being gay.
The defendants were arrested in a flat in Cairo in September last year, following a promise from police that they would be cracking down on the LGBT community.
Authorities have admitted to using dating apps to lure gay men to their arrests, as well as raiding saunas, underground bars and clubs.
The court convicted the men of ‘debauchery and incitement to debauchery’. While homosexuality is not explicitly illegal under Egyptian law, the law is used as if it were.
Three of the men were jailed for 12 years, three were jailed for nine years, one was jailed for six years and four were jailed for three years.
Egyptian police have arrested more than 80 people this past year for the ‘crime’ of being LGBT.
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Men accused of homosexuality are often accused by Egyptian authorities of “debauchery”, because the country does not have a specific anti-gay law. This new “sting” represents a targeting of the trans community.
Earlier this year, an Egyptian journalist who was jailed for defaming a group of men after filming them at a bath house, was acquitted.
Mona Iraqi faced charges of defamation and spreading false news after a “sting” on 26 men she accused of “perversions” for attending what she said was a gay bath house in Cairo has been sent to jail.
The men arrested were accused of “perversions” as journalist Mona Iraqi told police that the bathhouses were used for “group perversions”.
The bathhouse owner was accused by prosecutors of facilitating the “practice, facilitate and incite debauchery.”
Despite all 26 men being acquitted, the men involved have say they have received rejection, ridicule and abuse from both strangers and loved ones.
One victim even attempted to burn himself to death because of the repercussions for being named in the lawsuit.