Egypt: Surge in anti-gay raids sparks fears of crackdown

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Anti-gay police raids in Egypt have drastically increased in the past few months, it has been reported.

According to the Guardian, the country’s gay community are terrified after an upsurge in the number of raids and arrests.

Homosexuality is not explicitly banned in Egypt, but gay people often face arrest under the country’s expansive public decency and morality laws.

The newspaper reports that there have been nine raids in the country since October 2013, and the majority of people were arrested at home, rather than at cruising sites or parties.

Four gay men were sentenced to up to 8 years in prison earlier this month, for holding ‘deviant’ parties.

Activist Mohamed A said the raids had sparked fears among the underground gay community that they could be targeted.

He said: “It has struck fear within many of us. I could be sitting with a couple of friends [at home], and these arrests could happen at any moment.”

Dalia Alfarghal, a human rights activist, said: “We have a lot of crazy things going on in the country – and they’re detaining these guys instead of catching terrorists.”

In December, 14 men were arrested at a medical centre in Cairo for ‘homosexual acts’.