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Egyptian police use Grindr to lure gay men to hotel rooms

Joseph McCormick October 29, 2017
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Egyptian family members of victims of the Port Said massacre react outside the Court of Cassation following the court's ruling in the case, in Cairo, on February 20, 2017. An Egyptian court upheld death sentences against 10 people convicted over rioting that claimed 74 lives at a stadium in Port Said in 2012, judicial and security officials said. The riot, the country's deadliest sports-related violence, broke out when fans of home team Al-Masry and Cairo's Al-Ahly clashed after a premier league match between the two clubs. / AFP PHOTO / MOHAMED EL-SHAHED (Photo credit should read MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)

(Getty)

Police in Egypt are using gay app Grindr to lure gay and bisexual men to hotel rooms to arrest them.

Dalia Abdel-Hameed, a gender rights researcher with the Egyptian Initative for Personal Rights unearthed dozens of police reports.

In the reports, a “cultivation” technique is set out which sees targets seduced using Grindr.

They are lured to hotel rooms and arrested by authorities.

She described a “mania” around penetration.

“It’s related to the fact that men are using apps more than women and an obsession of who is being penetrated.

“There is this penetration mania in Egypt due to religious reasons, mostly.”

Earlier this month, four people were imprisoned for homosexuality in Egypt.

The Haram Misdemeanour Court sentenced the defendants to three years in prison on Saturday, for acts which were “inconsistent with public morality and homosexuality”.

The illegal actions were committed in a residential apartment in Hadayeq al-Ahram, Giza, near the country’s famous pyramids, according to the Egyptian Independent.

CAIRO, EGYPT: Egyptians with their faces covered, charged with engaging in homosexual activities and scorning Islam, enter a Cairo court under the protection of security men 14 November 2001. One of the 52 men was sentenced to five years in prison and several to three years at the end of their trial. The men were arrested in May following a party on a Nile riverboat. AFP PHOTO/Marwan NAAMANI (Photo credit should read MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
Men charged with homosexual activities in Egypt in 2001 (Getty)

The convicted people, whose genders and names have not yet been reported, were arrested as part of the ongoing crackdown on the LGBT community in Egypt.

Police said they received an arrest warrant from the public prosecution before making the arrests, and that aphrodisiacs and sex toys were confiscated from the scene.

The crackdown began last month, after at least one rainbow flag was waved at a concert by the Lebanese band Mashrou Leila, whose lead singer is openly gay.

Egypt’s conservative, pro-government media stoked anti-LGBT sentiment after the concert, with prime-time TV host Ahmed Moussa telling his audience: “Homosexuality is a crime that’s as terrible as terrorism.”

A Pride flag at Mashrou Leila's concert
A Pride flag at Mashrou Leila’s concert

Egyptian authorities responded with a ‘purge’ targeted at the country’s gay community, raiding homes and arresting more than 60 people to date, according to sources.

10 of those arrested immediately after the concert have already been sentenced to six years in prison each, for “debauchery”.

The Forensic Medical Authority has also carried out anal examinations on at least five of those arrested.

It is de facto illegal to be gay in Egypt, under public morality and order laws. Those convicted of homosexuality can be sentenced to as much as 17 years in prison.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - JUNE 25: LGBT supporters march towards Taksim Square on June 25, 2017 in Istanbul, Turkey. The 2017 LGBT Pride March was banned by authorities for the third year. Organisers defied the order and people attempted to march to Taksim Square but were met by a heavy police presence and the crowd was dispersed by tear gas and several people were arrested. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Instanbul Pride march (Getty)

Last week, authorities banned the media from reporting on the issue – while imposing a Russia-style ban on LGBT people being mentioned on TV and film, as well as radio, online or print media.

Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation issued the statement, which “prohibits the appearance of homosexuals or their slogans in the media”, branding homosexuality a “sickness”.

Eight Egyptian men on trial for doing a video prosecutors claimed was of a gay wedding hide their identities as they sit in the defendent's cage during their trial in Cairo on November 1, 2014. The video, filmed aboard a Nile riverboat, shows what prosecutors said was a gay wedding ceremony, with two men in the centre kissing, exchanging rings and cutting a cake with their picture on it. The Egyptian court jailed the eight men for three years. AFP PHOTO / STR        (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
Eight Egyptian men on trial for filming a gay wedding, 2014 (Getty)

The order forbids any appearance of gay people “in any media outlet whether written, audio, or visual, except when they acknowledge the fact that their conduct is inappropriate and repent for it”.

Though the crackdown has largely targeted gay men, one woman was detained by authorities on suspicion of “promoting sexual deviancy” and “habitual debauchery” for waving the rainbow flag.

CAIRO, EGYPT:  Egyptians dressed in white with their faces covered, charged with engaging in homosexual activities and scorning Islam, enter a Cairo court under the protection of security men 14 November 2001. One of the 52 men was sentenced to five years in prison and several to three years at the end of their trial. The men were arrested in May following a party on a Nile riverboat. AFP PHOTO/Marwan NAAMANI (Photo credit should read MARWAN NAAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
Men charged with homosexual activities in Egypt in 2001 (Getty)

It is believed to be the first such incident involving a woman in several years.

Egyptian-born gay activist Omar Sharif Jr., the grandson of Egyptian actor Omar Sharif, spoke to PinkNews about the purge earlier this month.

He said: “I am angry and disheartened by the arrests of fellow Egyptians over the past few days.

Defendants react behind the bars at a court in Cairo following the acquittal on January 12, 2015 of 26 male men accused of "debauchery" after they were arrested in a night-time raid on a bathhouse in the Egyptian capital last month that triggered international concern. The men were arrested on December 7 in the raid on a hammam in the Azbakeya district of Cairo, amid fears of a widening police crackdown on homosexuals in Egypt even though Egyptian law does not expressly ban homosexuality. AFP PHOTO / MOHAMED EL-SHAHED        (Photo credit should read MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Getty Images)
Egyptian men accused of “debauchery” in 2015 (Getty)

“The action of authorities are an affront to basic human rights and dignity. No one should be arrested for proudly expressing their authentic selves; they should be celebrated.

“Forcing people to undergo invasive medical examinations is tantamount to torture.

“Let’s be clear, Egyptian authorities are not protecting morality; they are spitting in the face of it.”

Related topics: Africa, Africa, anti-gay purge, court, crackdown, Crime, Egypt, Egypt, Gay, giza, Homosexuality, prison, purge, sentencing

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