Eleven men given a total of 101 years in prison for gay sex.

Eleven men arrested in Agouza, Cairo in September last year were given prison sentences on Sunday of between three and twelve  years for consensual gay sex .

They were convicted of various debauchery charges used by the regime for many years as a loophole to imprison gay men as there is nothing technically illegal with same-sex behaviour either in Egyptian law or under the constitution.

However, despite the spurious nature of the charges, even under Egyptian law, the eleven defendants nevertheless received prison sentences which added together amounted to a staggering 101 years in prison. Four of the defendants were sentenced to three years in prison,  one to six years,  three to nine years and three to twelve years.

My understanding is that the length of some of the prison sentences for consensual same-sex acts is unprecedented in modern Egyptian history and ironically under a regime that claims to be anti-Islamist and backed by Egypt’s powerful military  and which played a crucial role in toppling the Muslim Brotherhood allied presidency of Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

Of course the regime will claim that they can’t interfere in judicial matters even if it might have the power to change the debauchery laws used to criminalize gay sex.  However the truth is that judges in Egypt no longer ever dare to issue verdicts which challenge the government’s policy on important issues or they know they will be purged, as many more independently minded judges have already discovered.

Many observers seem surprised that the supposedly anti-Islamist military backed Junta of Abdel Fatah el-Sisi should be responsible for such a brutal crackdown on Egypt’s gay community.    However this supposedly pro-secular military backed government has witnessed the arrest of 95 LGBT people between July 2013 and December 2015.

Others don’t even seem to realise the irony assuming that surely it must be an Islamist government in power – one activist obviously unfamiliar with Egyptian politics tweeted  a few hours ago – (I won’t embarrass him by mentioning his name or Twitter account) –

Egypt‘s Muslim Brotherhood-led government has sentenced 11 people to lengthy jail terms for being gay – 

More to follow shortly.

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About alisdare

Please contact me via my facebook page facebook.com/alisdare or email alisdare@gmail.com
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