No-one is talking about Egypt’s shocking homophobic purge

Egypt’s authorities are deliberately fuelling a homophobic ‘moral panic’ in order to build support for a homophobic crackdown, a report has alleged.

There has recently been a dramatic surge in arrests of gay people in Egypt, fuelled in part by the country’s media.

Sources on the ground have repeatedly raised the alarm about Egypt’s so-called ‘Public Morality Investigation Unit’, which actively targets the gay community with raids and entrapment.

The situation worsened in September this year, when the waving of a rainbow flag at a music concert was extensively derided in the press – leading to a dramatic crackdown.

A report released this week by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights charts the horrific extent of the crisis.

Egyptian newspapers (Photo by Ed Giles/Getty Images).

It says: “The EIPR has observed an exponential increase in the number of individuals arrested because of their private sexual practices and/or sexual orientation.

“In what is now known as the as the Public Morality Investigation Unit’s campaign against LGBTQ individuals and men who have sex with men or those perceived as such.”

Data available up until March 2017 shows that arrests have drastically risen in the past few years.

EIPR estimates based on media monitoring that 232 people were arrested between the end of 2013 and March 2017.

The report alleges that morality police were also responsible for fuelling negative stories about LGBT people in order to stoke public fear, manufacturing “the creation of major sex scandals that receive exceptional media attention”.

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