Middle East / North Africa

More than 274 LGBTQ victims of Egypt’s ongoing repression

Solidarity with Egypt LGBTQ+ explains: "We designed this logo according to our beliefs, our identities, and the identity of our cause at Solidarity with Egypt LGBT. We used the 'Ankh' or key of life in order to express the historical meaning behind this symbol and how, in our minds, it is connected to feminism and the diversity of gender and sexual identity in Egypt."

Logo of Solidarity with Egypt LGBTQ+

At least 274 LGBTQ people in Egypt have been the targets of police action,  prosecution and hate crimes, according to a new tally from the advocacy group Solidarity with Egypt LGBTQ+.

The victims were 210 homosexuals and 64 trans people who were caught up in 114 criminal cases and 21 hate crimes during the ongoing crackdown by the regime of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi starting in late 2013, which primarily targets political opponents and human rights defenders.

The group’s tally is incomplete; it records only the cases that have been covered in local newspapers and other news media.

Game of thrones: Sisi at his most Napoleonic. (Photo courtesy of Scott Long)

Egyptian President Sisi. (Photo courtesy of Scott Long)

Among the 274 victims were nine foreigners, one lesbian and several  teenagers.

Social media, dating applications and the Internet were used to track and arrest LGBTQ people in more than half of the criminal cases (66 out of 114 cases, or 58 percent), Solidarity with Egypt LGBTQ+ said.

In the criminal cases, the harshest sentences were imposed in the trial of 11 gay men in Giza in April 2016, the group said. Three of the defendants were sentenced to up to 12 years in prison; the other eight were sentenced to between three and nine years, the group said. The sentences were later reduced on appeal, the group said.

For teenage defendants who were convicted, prison sentences ranged from one to three years.

Egyptian defendants in courtroom cage during 2014 trial (Photo courtesy of DT News)

Egyptian defendants in courtroom cage during 2014 trial (Photo courtesy of DT News)

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