Egypt: new arrests; sentence reduced; German MP speaks out

Trans woman arrested.

Malooka (Photo courtesy her Facebook page)
Malooka (Photo courtesy her Facebook page)

BuzzFeed reported that Cairo police arrested a 25-year old trans woman and her roommate on Sunday, December 28th.  As usual, local media is sensationalizing coverage with this case.  Police told local media that Malooka Aldlouah’s videos, posted on YouTube, were “hardcore” and advertised “sadistic sex.”

However, her many videos posted to Facebook and YouTube are not explicitly sexual and most show her dancing, either fully clothed or wearing lingerie, but no new videos were posted in the last year. No further details are available as to why the roommate was arrested.

“The problem is that the police took their cell phones, which carry our numbers — this is an easy way to arrest us,” Aldlouah’s former roommate told BuzzFeed. “Arresting Malooka makes the situation very very dangerous,” she said. “I will leave Egypt soon… Hard days are definitely coming.”

Appeals court reduces sentence.

Egypt Appeals Court in Cairo (photo still courtesy AFP video)
Egypt Appeals Court in Cairo (photo still courtesy AFP video)

LGBTI media sources reported that an Egyptian appeals court reduced the prison sentences for the eight men jailed in what has been called the “wedding video” boat party. The men were originally sentenced in November to three years on multiple charges including “inciting debauchery”, the appeals court on Saturday December 27 reduced the imprisonment to one year.

The men were shown on a YouTube video at a Nile river party. Police claimed that the video showed them participating in a wedding ceremony between two men, but one participant told media that the whole thing was a joke.  The incident and video became an internet sensation last summer.

Twenty six men charged in sauna raid.

Accounts as to the number of men arrested in the Cairo sauna case on December 7th have varied widely.  Early reports had put the number arrested as high as 40 to 48 men.  Other media reported that 33 were arrested.

However, AFP News Agency reported that 26 men were brought to court and charged on Sunday, December 21st.  As an AFP news reporter was present to report this news, the number of men charged that they reported seems the most reliable number.

German MP speaks out on LGBTI arrests in Egypt.

Volker Beck (Official German Green Party photo)
Volker Beck (Official German Green Party photo)

Volker Beck, a member of the German Green Party, elected to the Bundestag since 1994, told Deutsche Welle (DW) that the West should do more to help “persecuted homosexuals.”

In an interview with DW on Sunday, December 28th, Beck said:

We have seen since the fall of the Islamist regime that the (Egyptian) government is trying to show that it can be just as conservative and homophobic as the previous government. The court sentences are completely disproportionate.

Gays and lesbians are not protected but rather persecuted by the state. The situation is very bad.

The German government should make it clear to the Egyptian government that we take a very critical view of these kinds of human rights abuses. It has to be made clear that it is not acceptable that the current regime gets a free pass for whatever human rights abuses occur in the name of Islam.

Western states should consider welcoming people via their embassies who are actively persecuted. This is a precarious situation in which everyone eventually will have to fear for their lives and freedom.

In the past there have been measures implemented by embassies to get people out of dangerous situations… because they are not likely to be safe in Egypt’s neighboring countries either.

To read the full interview, click here.

Written by Colin Stewart

Colin Stewart is a 45-year journalism veteran living in Southern California. After his retirement from paid newspaper work in 2011, he launched Erasing 76 Crimes and helped with the Spirit of 76 campaign that assembled a multi-national team of 26 LGBTI rights activists to advocate for change during the International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C., in July 2012. He is the president of the St. Paul’s Foundation for International Reconciliation, which supports LGBTQ+ rights advocacy journalism, including the Erasing 76 Crimes news site and the African Human Rights Media Network. Contact him via Twitter @76crimes or by email at Mailing address: 21 Marseille, Laguna Niguel CA 92677 USA.


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