The Crisis of LGBTQ Communities in Egypt: Questions for Ahmed El Hady

Source: The Century Foundation

Author(s): Ahmed El Hady

Original Link:

Thanassis Cambanis: What is the state of the LGBTQ community in Egypt right now?

Ahmed El Hady: We are experiencing a crisis of existence and survival. We are being killed, put in prison, committing suicide. In 2018, we had 122 LGBTQ-identifying individuals arrested in Egypt, and that’s just the known figure. Arrests take place not only through online entrapment, but also on the streets. If the authorities see someone effeminate, that’s a potential target. This is because they want to play on the performance aspect of social control. If you are not performing your masculinity, you run the risk of being arrested. When people are arrested, rape and anal examinations are carried out—which is also a form of rape, of course. Detention is arbitrary and there are also forced disappearances. In 2017, a lawmaker even tried to create a new crime called “promoting homosexuality.” The law was struck down, probably because of U.S. pressure. But even though there are no laws that explicitly criminalize homosexuality, they use the existing debauchery laws in order to criminalize it.

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