News Brief: 15 People to Stand Trial for “Debauchery” in Egypt

by Aaron Shepard
in News
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News Brief 15 People to Stand Trial for “Debauchery” in Egypt

News Brief 15 People to Stand Trial for “Debauchery” in Egypt

News Brief:  15 People to Stand Trial for “Debauchery” in Egypt

Fifteen people are set to stand trial in Egypt, accused of “acts of debauchery.”  The group will be tried in a misdemeanor court for “violating the teachings of religion and public morals.” 

The fifteen people had reportedly attended a Mashrou Leila concert on September 22nd, where some of them were waving a rainbow flag.  They group was then wrongfully arrested and charged with “inciting immorality” as they allegedly promoted homosexuality by raising the flag.

The arrests are part of a wider crackdown on LGBT people in Egypt, where being gay isn’t illegal, but the “debauchery” and “sexual deviancy” laws are being used to crackdown on the LGBT community.  For instance, on September 28th a student was fined and imprisoned for six years in Egypt for “practicing debauchery.” 

It has also been reported that six people accused of “promoting sexual deviancy” and “debauchery” on social media were subjected to anal “examinations” ahead of their trial this past month.  Egypt’s Forensic Medicine Authority ordered the examinations in hopes of determining whether or not the accused have engaged in same-sex sexual relations.

The Human Rights Watch condemned these examinations. 

“Whether they were waving a rainbow flag, chatting on a dating app, or minding their own business in the streets, all these debauchery arrest victims should be immediately released,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. 

“The Egyptian government, by rounding people up based on their presumed sexual orientation, is showing flagrant disregard for their rights.  Egypt should stop dedicating state resources to hunting people down for what they allegedly do in their bedrooms, or for expressing themselves at a rock concert, and should instead focus energy on improving its dire human rights record,” Whitson added.