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Egyptian Doctor Jailed for ‘Homosexual Activity’

Egyptian Doctor Jailed for ‘Homosexual Activity’

A man arrested for alleged homosexual activities in an earlier case, the Queen Boat Case, attempts to hide his face. Credit: AP
A man arrested for alleged homosexual activities in an earlier case, the 2001 Queen Boat Case, attempts to hide his face. Credit: AP

An Egyptian doctor, whose name has not been released, has been sentenced to one year in prison by a Cairo court after being accused of ‘practicing homosexual activity’, reported Youm7.

The Qasr Al-Nil Court, headed by Wael Khedr, ruled that the doctor be sentenced to one year in prison with labour.

According to Youm7, investigations initiated by the prosecutor of the case revealed that the doctor had started a ‘group’ on WhatsApp to attract those who ‘want to practice immorality’ and to meet with those who intended to ‘practice debauchery’.

The report by the private newspaper added that an investigation had been commenced after ‘morality police’ received information about a doctor practicing homosexual activity.

Homosexuality in Egypt

Egypt’s constitution does not have laws banning homosexuality. Yet, in the past offences such as “violating the teachings of religion” and “moral depravity” were used to arrest, and imprison individuals accused of taking part in homosexual acts.

The association between the Internet and social media applications and homosexuality is not new; according to a BuzzFeed report published last year, the Egyptian government increased its Internet surveillance. Around the same time, the gay dating app Grindr issued a warning to its users in Egypt that “police may be posing as LGBT on social media to entrap” them.

The country’s intolerance of homosexuality has long pervaded the Egyptian consciousness. Although there is no specific law that prohibits homosexuality, scores of men – some of whom were wrongly accused of being homosexual – have been arrested under the vague umbrella of “inciting debauchery.”

Among the most (in)famous of these cases is the Queen Boat trial of 2001, which saw the arrest of 52 men from a gay nightclub aboard the Queen Boat. 21 of those men were later handed down an array of charges, including “contempt for religion” and “habitual practice of debauchery.”

The trial proceedings were internationally condemned, particularly as Egyptian media printed the defendants’ real names and addresses.

Egypt’s constitution does not have laws banning homosexuality. Yet, in the past offences such as “violating the teachings of religion” and “moral depravity” were used to arrest, and imprison individuals accused of taking part in homosexual acts.

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