Egyptian Police Hunt And Track LGBT People Using Dating Apps
Homosexuality is widely condemned in Egypt, and there have been persistent rumors that Egyptian police hunt LGBT people on internet. Now, BBC News has found proof that the authorities are exploiting dating and social media applications to achieve this.
Suleman ShahJan 31, 202331 Shares455 Views
Homosexuality is widely condemned in Egypt, and there have been persistent rumors that Egyptian police hunt LGBT peopleon internet. Now, BBC Newshas found proof that the authorities are exploiting dating and social media applications to achieve this.
Local lifestyle media claim that the security of the gay minority in the strict Muslim nation is threatened by the rise of online dating sites like Grindr. According to a source close to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community, apps like Grindr put the lives of homosexuals in the strict Muslim nation in danger.
There have been a number of arrests in the last few months linked to these applications.- CairoScene
How Egyptian police hunt LGBT people on dating apps - BBC News
Egyptian law does not prohibit homosexuality per such, but the country's LGBT community has historically faced discrimination and even criminal prosecution for a variety of other reasons.
In addition to receiving annual funding of billions of dollars from the United States and the European Union, Egypt is also one of the most strategically vital Western allies in the Middle East. About half a million Britons go there every year, and the United Kingdom also provides training to the Egyptian police force via the United Nations.
Because it is so dangerous for LGBT individuals to approach each other in public, dating apps have become more popular in Egypt. However, under Egypt's encouragement of debauchery and public morals rules, even using the apps may result in an individual's imprisonment, regardless of the user's sexual orientation.
As a result of the current onslaught on Egypt's LGBT community, many of its members have begun hiding their identities for safety reasons. On allegations of "inciting debauchery," an Egyptian court imposed prison sentences of up to 12 years in April upon 11 individuals suspected of homosexual conduct.
Late in 2014, Egyptian police responded to a complaint of homosexual orgies at a Cairo bathhouse and arrested 26 guys. The guys were eventually granted bail by the court.
Although Egypt does not have a law specifically prohibiting homosexuality, the LGBT population is being criminalized under the "debauchery" statute, which is a sex work law.
Police officers, according to transcripts given with arrest reports, are using online personas to target and, in some instances, reportedly create evidence against LGBT persons searching for dates. They explain how the police start contact through SMS with suspects.
Someone was detained when an undercover police officer seemed to pressure them to meet in person through text message while using the social networking and dating app WhosHere.
According to transcripts acquired by the BBC, Egyptian police have attempted to coerce citizens into engaging in sexual acts for financial gain. Authorities have more legal footing to pursue a prosecution if they can show that money changed hands or was offered.
The BBC can't independently verify this since all they have to go on are blurry photocopies of police case files. Three persons said the police had either coerced or fabricated confessions in their respective instances.
Laith's original sentence of three months in prison for "habitual debauchery" was reduced to one month when he appealed. Laith claims that the police pressured him into giving information on other LGBT individuals he knew.
The WhosHere app has been mentioned in almost every police report that the BBC has seen. After being contacted by the BBC, the app altered its settings to remove the potentially identifying "seeking same sex" option.
Alicia Kearns, a member of Parliament for the United Kingdom, expressed a desire for more to be done to protect LGBT tourists in Egypt. Egyptian homosexual guys may be seen on film being beaten and tortured while being made to do a striptease. Under threat of bodily harm, people reveal their identities and sexual orientation.
Both Bakar and Yahia, the men who made the film, have bad reputations in their neighborhood. One of these movies has a homosexual male, identified here as Saeed, 18, who is coerced into giving a fake confession about being a sex worker.
Egyptian males Laila, Saeed, Jamal, and Laith have come out to discuss how they were blackmailed into having sex with other men by a group that threatened their lives.
Not just Egyptians are under attack. In one transcript, police detail how they recognized the foreigner on the homosexual hookup app Grindr.
The transcript continues to state that throughout the call, Matt "confirmed his depravity, his desire to indulge in debauchery for free, and transmitted images of himself and his body" to the police informant who had initiated the conversation.
According to Matt's BBC interview, he was detained, accused of "debauchery," and ultimately deported.