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Country Overview

Egypt

At a glance

Same-sex Relations for Men Legal Throughout the Country?

No

Same-sex Relations for Women Legal Throughout the Country?

No

Legal Gender Recognition Possible?

No

LGBTI Orgs Able to Register?

No

Actions Related to SOGI at the UN:

2016: Opposed IE SOGI

2019: Opposed IE SOGI

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Egypt’s law prohibiting “debauchery” is widely understood to criminalize consensual same-sex relations and is the source of frequent arrests. In addition, article 269 of the penal code prohibits incitement to indecency, and article 278 criminalizes “scandalous acts,” all of which are routinely used against LGBTIQ people. A small surge of activism and visibility after the Arab spring was accompanied by backlash, with numbers of arrests of LGBTIQ people soaring after Abdel Fattah al-Sisi seized power in 2013. The crackdown widened in 2017, when a number of young people attending a concert in Cairo of Mashrou’ Leila raised a rainbow flag. Photos of this went viral on social media and resulted in a backlash of mass imprisonment, including torture and beating of those detained. That month alone over 80 perceived LGBTIQ people were detained, at least 20 of whom received prison sentences. The crackdown has intensified since, also targeting people portraying anything to do with LGBTIQ people’s lives. Activist Sarah Hegazi, who held the rainbow flag at the aforementioned concert, fled Egypt after being tortured in prison and died by suicide while in exile in Canada. New anti-civil liberties laws, such as limitations on NGO activity, restrict human rights organizing. Egypt’s morality police widely publicize raids targeting LGBTIQ people, and the police have used dating apps and online platforms to entrap queer men and transgender people.

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