What you can do
Image courtesy of Amnesty International UK

Egypt - anti-LGBT crackdown and mass arrests, for waving rainbow flags

Stonewall is alarmed at reports of an anti-LGBT crackdown in Egypt, involving mass arrests, in response to rainbow flags being displayed at a pop concert in Cairo on 22 September.

Activists tell us that over 50 people, suspected of being LGBT and involved in the incident, have been arrested by security forces. And the number of arrests keeps on growing.

The victims stand accused of “debauchery”, “inciting debauchery”, “promoting sexual deviance” and “belonging to a banned group” – charges which carry sentences of up to 15 years in prison. 

Victims report being subject to beatings, sexual harassment and forced anal examinations while in detention.

Victims report being subject to beatings, sexual harassment and forced anal examinations while in detention.

Local groups fear a further backlash against the LGBT community as a result of local media stirring up anti-LGBT sentiment. Since the pop concert, the Egyptian government has imposed an LGBT media blackout, with the exception of content that condemns being LGBT.

And while same-sex conduct is not explicitly prohibited in Egypt, alarmingly the Egyptian Parliament discussed last week passing a law that would punish homosexuality by imprisonment of up to 15 years.

We’ve joined local and international rights groups condemning the crackdown and calling for the Egyptian authorities to protect its LGBT citizens and for the media to stop spreading anti-LGBT hate speech.

We’ve briefed the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office to ask them to urge the Egyptian authorities to immediately end the crackdown against LGBT activists.

We’ve briefed the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office to ask them to urge the Egyptian authorities to immediately end the crackdown against LGBT activists and release those detained immediately and unconditionally.

And we’ll continue working with our partners on the ground to monitor the situation and offer any support we can.

Now we’re calling on you, our supporters, to take action in solidarity with LGBT activists in Egypt. Here’s how: