Egyptian authorities have been found using Grindr, the dating app for homosexuals, as a mean to catch hold of an arrest homosexuals in the country.
Egypt has been extremely strict with it approach towards the sexual minority. Dalia Abdel-Hameed, a gender rights researcher with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, went through the police reports found that the Grindr was the main source to nab gay men.
The modus operandi had the authorities pose as homosexuals and entice them to hotel rooms. They would then place the homosexuals under arrest.
Even though homosexuality is not forbidden in Egypt, a certain law against “debauchery” permits the authorities to arrest and convict of LGBTQ people. About 11 men were suspected of homosexuality and were sent to prison for 12 years for “inciting debauchery”.
Recently, at Mashrou’ Leila’s concert in Cairo, a group of people raised a rainbow flag. Leila, a gay, seemed to have inspired this atypical gesture, which leads to a crackdown. The support was severely criticized and six were even arrested. The arrested men were made to undergo anal examination by the Forensic Medical Authority of the country to establish any incidents of homosexual intercourse, according to Amnesty International.
Earlier this month, twenty-seven people were arrested and accused of “debauchery” and “incitement to debauchery”. Out of these, seventeen were tried on these charges, according to Pink Sixty reports.
The LGBT community has been vulnerable to such traps set up through online dating sites and apps. Grindr and Hornet, two of the widely used, location-based apps provide the user’s position within a few hundred meters. This is a major tip-off to the authorities.
In a wake of such incidences, both Grindr and Hornet have started sending out safety tips to users in the local language. The tips let a trusted third party know the user’s location before meeting someone. It even allows checking if there are any mutual friends and chatting on a video call before the meeting.
The Abdel Fattah al-Sisi government has raised a moral panic about homosexuality. The scare is supported by Egypt’s conservative religious institutions and mainstream media.
The raids to nab gay men have only increased with time. In what is deemed as a major crackdown, 52 men were arrested from a floating disco called Queen Boat in 2001.
Looks like there might be another one in line soon, given the way the Egyptian authorities have turned into bloodhounds.
Information source: hindustantimes
Title image source: msmagazine