Egypt Escalates LGBT Crackdown After Rainbow Flag Waved At Concert: 33 Arrested, Forced Anal Exams

The BBC reports:

Egyptian authorities have arrested at least 22 people in the past four days as part of a campaign against LGBT people, Amnesty International says. Thirty-two men and one woman have now been detained since rainbow flags were displayed at a pop concert in Cairo last month, according to activists. Anal examinations have been reportedly carried out on five of those arrested.

The flag-raising provoked a public outcry and prompted the public prosecutor to order an investigation. Homosexuality is not explicitly criminalised under Egyptian law. But the authorities routinely arrest people suspected of engaging in consensual homosexual conduct on charges of “debauchery”, “immorality” or “blasphemy”.

The raising of rainbow flags at the concert by the Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila – whose lead singer is openly gay – on 22 September was a rare public show of support for the LGBT community in the conservative Muslim country.

More from Egyptian Streets:

The Supreme Council for Media Regulation (SCMR) has released an order to ban all forms of support towards the LGBT community on media outlets. Head of the SCMR Makram Mohamed said in a statement that homosexuality is a ‘shameful disease’ and shouldn’t be promoted on media. It further added that homosexuals should not be allowed to integrate unless they receive treatment in order to maintain public morality.

Additionally, they should only appear on media outlets to repent and admit that it is an unacceptable behavior. Moreover, the Syndicate of Musical Professions banned Mashrou’ Leila from performing in Egypt. Earlier in April, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi issued a decree to establish three new bodies to regulate the work of the media in Egypt. The three bodies are the Supreme Council for Media Regulation (SCMR), National Press Authority (NPA) and the National Media Authority (NMA).

And from Albawaba News:

The news has caused many within Egypt’s LGBTI community to flee as activists warn others to avoid meeting people that they do not know amid fears of further arrests. While some with foreign passports, visas or financial backing may have the means to flee abroad, the reality is that most are left fearing arrrest at any moment in their home country.

“Whether they were waving a rainbow flag, chatting on a dating app, or minding their own business in the streets, all these debauchery arrest victims should be immediately released,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, the Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch.

Mashrou’ Leila issued a statement last night. An excerpt:

We cannot begin to explain how saddened we are to see yet another era of backwards tyranny creep over one of our most beloved countries and audiences. This crackdown is by no means separable from the suffocating atmosphere of fear and abuse experienced by all Egyptians on a daily basis, regardless of their sexual orientations.

We denounce the demonization and prosecution of victimless acts between consenting adults. It is sickening to think that all this hysteria has been generated over a couple of kids raising a piece of cloth that stands for love.

The amount of boastful ignorance, hate speech, and lies that have emerged in the press is unthinkable. We urge the Egyptian press to wake up to the catastrophe that they’ve generated and take responsibility for the inflammatory lies that they’ve published over the last 10 days. We denounce the hate speech that has been adopted by both the state and the media.

Hit the link above for their full statement in both English and Arabic. The band is currently on a short US tour.

  • DaddyRay

    Tony Perkins is so envious of Egypt, he can’t wait until the US does the same

    • Tawreos

      I bet he has mixed emotions since it is muslims doing what he wishes he could.

    • RJ Bone

      Yup. They want a christian caliphate because religion is the most reliable way to control large amounts of people.

    • Frostbite

      He could save us all the trouble and just move there.

    • Statistics Palin

      New rule 2;
      Whenever Tony Perkins appears in
      public he gets a forced anal exam with a backhoe.

  • bkmn

    Saddening and maddening. But please don’t let this and other recent events get to you too much. Take time for yourself, breathe in – breathe out. We can’t help fix things if we allow ourselves to fall to depression.

  • JoeMyGod

    Rainbow flags were waved at their Virginia concert last night.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2VMgWFCmPrM

  • Rex

    What exactly is the purpose of performing an anal exam? Do they think they’ll find more rainbow flags or unicorns and glitter?

    • Mark Née Fuzz

      Glow in the dark lube, maybe?

    • Ken M

      All the basic reasons. Pain, humiliation, inciting fear. Nothing new.

      • Chris Baker

        Yes, and being able to say “yes, we could tell from the exam that he was a homosexual” and beat them and put them in jail. Since it’s just manufactured “evidence” that can’t be disproven in any way (since there is no proof to start with).

    • bambinoitaliano

      Hoping to find the second coming of allah or jesus depending on which imaginary deity one subscribe to. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/04f7e0db5a58d9a89784efbb0f7d290f1ee16a1700a85fa8590c42790345ba95.jpg

    • BJORN RAGNVALDR

      In this case, to get perverse pleasure from the pain, humiliation and suffering of another human being they find offensive.

    • JustDucky

      They apparently legitimately believe they can identify “habitually” gay men based on the appearance of the anus. They actually believe that what they’re doing is science. It’s beyond fucked up. Here are a few highlights from a Buzzfeed article on the subject:

      “CAIRO — When asked to explain what Cairo’s medical inspectors look for when they examine someone who’s been arrested for homosexuality, Dr. Maged Louis picked up a pen and started sketching an oval with sharp points on both ends.

      ‘The shape of the hole will change,’ he said. The anus ‘won’t be normal any more and will look like the female vagina.’

      …But Louis was incredulous that anyone could doubt his inspectors’ work.

      ‘All of what I said is science and written in books,’ he said. ‘Doctors all over the world know that.’

      …Mohamed Abo Zakry, a defense attorney with an organization representing seven of the defendants in the bathhouse case, reacted as if it were a stupid question when asked about challenging the legitimacy of the tests during an interview with BuzzFeed News just before the acquittal in January.

      ‘We cannot say the exams are not accurate,’ Zakry said. ‘They are accurate. Any [doctor] who has experience can see clearly if this guy is gay or not.'”

      The whole article is worth reading:

      https://www.buzzfeed.com/lesterfeder/egyptian-doctors-think-this-torturous-exam-can-detect-chroni?utm_term=.hg09zMd5oZ#.xbQaBZDX2p

      • Dagoril

        I’ve seen more than a few anuses over the years. And I have never, ever, seen one that looked like a vagina. And trust me, those things got a good pounding hehe.

        • JustDucky

          Yeah, it’s absolutely batshit crazy. But even though there is zero legitimate scientific evidence to back this shit up, they believe it to be medical fact.

          From the article:

          “I think you heard my laugh — I think that says it all,” said Dr. Joel Palefsky, a professor at the University of California San Francisco specializing in anal cancer who is president of the International Anal Neoplasia Society. “We run a clinic where we do anal examinations of thousands of patients … Never in my 20 years of doing this have I seen an anus that looks like a vagina.”

        • Chris Baker

          And the fact the many gay men are mostly top. But in some muslim places, only the bottom is gay.

      • -M-

        Anuses are round. Penises are generally round. So naturally if you put them together …uhhhhh

  • bambinoitaliano

    I see that Egypt has yet to abandon its slavery practice. They might not be building anymore pyramids, they still reserved the right to own you for unknown purposes. One would think parting of men asses would remind them the lesson of their religious history.

  • Texndoc
    • Smokey

      Then along came that old time religion.

      • JCF

        We funded them (the Wahabists/Salafists, in Saudi—and later in Afghanistan). You get what you pay for!

  • Mark Née Fuzz

    Pssst.. hey, Egypt. Men don’t have hymens.

    • Todd20036

      Religious fucks think that the anus is like a sock that can be stretched out.
      They don’t realize the anus is a muscle that contracts and relaxes. That’s too science-y

      • Mark Née Fuzz

        Those of us who’ve spent time in the lab conducting experiments know better.

        • BJORN RAGNVALDR

          Those of us who have done extensive field work and conducted many experiments with both control groups as well as experimental groups concur.

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      Checking to see if there have been any gay babies birthed.

      • Karl Dubhe

        I’m sure everyone of us has tried…

        Maybe if we keep on trying we’ll get there.

        /puff, puff; pass.

        • (((GC)))

          As Dan Savage said, with God everything is possible; he and his husband will keep trying and hope for a miracle.

  • JoeMyGod
    • Charles in Bloomington

      Very happy they’re coming to Bloomington!

  • Halou

    Has the leader of the free world said anything about this yet?

    • Todd20036

      You mean Merkel?

      • Silver Badger

        Of course. Certainly not trump.

        • Dagoril

          Drumpf is too busy attacking black NFL players and dissing the Mayor of San Juan.

      • Halou

        Yep. Since nobody else is running for the title.

    • Are Americans aware that no one ever thought of the US president as the leader of the free world besides Americans?

  • JoeMyGod

    In case the BBC excerpt isn’t clear, it was fans who waved the rainbow flag at the Cairo concert – not the band.

    • Silver Badger

      Not “gay” fans. Just run of the mill ordinary fans.

  • Silver Badger

    And so it goes. Egypt is but one of the countries currently arresting gay people for being gay. Shades of WWII.

    • Ken M

      Why go back that far? It was happening here until 1969.

      • olandp

        And after that too, the Lawrence decision wasn’t until 2003.

        edit: We can also be arrested for other things, but sometimes it is just for being gay.

      • Silver Badger

        Sorta, yeah. Lobotomies and shock therapy are worse than Concentration Camps. Hate to see them come back. Shock “therapy” (I.e. electric torture) already has. Can lobotomy be far behind?

      • There were raids in Boston in the 70’s

  • ByronK

    OT For what it’s worth, a morning smile from the animal kingdom..
    https://twitter.com/twitter/statuses/914912901940510720

    • Silver Badger

      It was interesting until the last panel. GROSS on many levels.

  • Rex

    In other inexplicable gay news – Milo Yiannopoulos got married over the weekend.

    • William

      It must be some sort of hostage situation. Deport Milo before he gets a Green Card.

    • Tawreos

      I saw that, but at least his new husband is smart enough to tell him he doesn’t his identity to be public.

      • William

        Hugh Jackman is keeping our recent marriage quiet.

        • Tawreos

          That is a good thing, it keeps you from getting mauled by jealous fans.

          • William

            I know, he could do much better.

          • Tawreos

            Never sell yourself short

          • clay

            It’s rude to criticize his judgement.

    • BJORN RAGNVALDR
    • Steverino

      Being the good little right-winger he is, I’m sure he will refuse all the rights, responsibilities, and benefits of marriage, thanks to the Windsor decision that his ideological comrades want to see overturned.

    • Tawreos

      I hope they are happy together and I hope that having someone to care for might wake him up and see that the conservative party is not the best place to hang out when you are a gay man married to a black man

    • Call me cynical, but everything he does is a publicity stunt. I suspect this is to.

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      No offense, but I can not bring myself to upvote your comment.

      • Rex

        Understandable.

  • SilasMarner

    I don’t understand the “anal examinations” of the 5 people. Is it a form of humiliation or some other reason? Color me confused and outraged.

    • Tawreos

      From what I have heard it is supposed to be humiliating and painful

    • BJORN RAGNVALDR

      Yes, humiliation and degradation.

    • -M-

      Supposedly they think they can determine if a man is gay, because buttsex.

      In practice just an excuse for intimidation, humiliation, torture and imposing arbitrary ‘justice’.

    • Dagoril

      Apparently they’ve never heard of guys who like to top.

    • customartist

      They simply seek to manufacture “proof” that someone has “practiced” homosexuality, so that hey gain sufficient public support for punnishment

  • vorpal 😼

    Another day of “excellent” news (sarcasm).

    Here’s my attempt to bring a smile to at least some of your days:

    My husband went out yesterday and bought a bean bag chair that he’s wanted for some time.

    No sooner did he have it out of the bag than this happened, and the two black boy cats spent all night playing King of the Mountain. Hubby still hasn’t got a chance to use it.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/47427fb18ad3865e1d5dcbc112d6acd97e6cd7d5e732e296abc15a7f33e6cc7e.jpg

    • clay

      Is that Pepe? Your husband wants to sit on Pepe?

    • AmeriCanadian

      Everything is theirs. Everything!

    • Ben in Oakland

      You sound surprised! Why wouldn’t they want to use the gift he so thoughtfully gave them? Why do you hate cats!?!?!?!?

    • Jean-Marc in Canada
      • vorpal 😼

        Nor will they let us forget it.

        My bedroom door doesn’t close properly (despite having it fixed three times), so if I want the door to stay closed, I have a chair next to it that I just budge in place to hold the door closed.

        Just a few minutes ago, I heard the THUNDER of paws down the hall, followed by a SLAM against my door. The chair got knocked forward a few inches: just enough for a demanding black boy kitty – who decided I was not allowed to be antisocial – to squeeze in!

    • whollyfool

      Love it! We thoughtlessly have black bean bag chairs so we have to check thoroughly for cats before sitting!

      • vorpal 😼

        Smart! That way you aren’t constantly faced with a beanbag chair obviously covered in black fur. I’m sure even after we vacuum this one, it’ll take them a day to have another cat’s worth of fur on it!

    • JCF

      Frankly, in terms of the frog thing (i.e. Pepe)…might have been better as a litter box!

      • vorpal 😼

        There are already four litter boxes for four cats.
        No more litter boxes… please!
        Not even if they’re Pepe’s horrible face!

  • Gigi

    This is one of the countries that the United States sided with on the UN resolution to condemn the death penalty for homosexuality and adultery. Strange bedfellows.

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      With Trump in charge, it doesn’t seem strange at all. The damage he’s doing to the reputation of the US is going to take years to repair.

  • Statistics Palin

    New rule:
    Forced anal exams for all male Egyptian diplomats

    • Bluto

      Great idea, make it as humiliating as possible.

      • Jean-Marc in Canada

        Have it done by women, that’ll do the trick.

        • Statistics Palin

          With strapons a la Myra Breckinridge.

        • PeedeResistance

          No, no, no, they’d LIKE that. Have it done by leathermen 😀

  • Ninja0980

    Have I mentioned I loathe religion?

  • Ben in Oakland

    Anal examinations, eh? To see whether someone has had anal sex, eh?

    Can we just call it what it is? allegedly heterosexual men getting off on playing with other men’s buttholes. Allegedly moral men doing whatever they can do humiliate and oppress people they despise. allegedly heterosexual men getting their jollies, satisfying their curiosity.

  • cheakamus

    One of my first gay experiences occurred on a train traveling between Alexandria and Cairo, 48 years ago now. I was lying down to sleep, sharing a bench seat with an older Egyptian man (the spitting image of Omar Sharif, at least in my memory), when I felt something hard pressed against me. Later, in Luxor, a tour guide showed me the pornographic engravings at the Temple of Karnak — you guessed it, gay!

  • Jeffrey

    We have friends in London who we often travel with who are always trying to get us to go to Egypt. They’re a hetero couple and don’t understand the problems with traveling in Muslim countries. We all went to Marrakech in Northern Africa together this summer. Also not gay friendly, despite their previous reputation, though they do have a gay friendly bar. Our friends didn’t quite understand our reticence to stay in the local riads, though we tried it for a few days before choosing the Four Seasons instead. I’ll try anything but I won’t stay anywhere where I don’t feel safe. The Four Seasons there is a compound behind guard gates and is a western style hotel so felt safe there. It was fascinating to see how different Ramadan was celebrated among the poor versus how it was celebrated with the rich. The poor quietly fasted all day. Meanwhile back at the FS they ate and drank by the pool in bikinis. A It was a good trip but one where we were acutely aware of the two very different strata of society. Like the hotel problem, they only seem to have riads (private homes that are B&B style) or luxury resorts like FS. They only seem to have rich and poor, much like in Mexico. With very little middle class in between. Theocracy where the poor are content to cling to their Bronze Age nonsense. Seems very much like the future GOP has in mind for us.

    • Ben in Oakland

      We went to morocco a few years ago. We had a good time, but I felt not just a little of the paranoia you felt. I’ve determined that I will not be visiting any Muslim countries now, nor any place in Africa except for perhaps South Africa and Namibia. And they are not high on my list.

      I travel a lot. There are plenty of places to go where i’m going to enjoy myself AND feel safe.

      • Jeffrey

        We also travel a lot and this was dipping my toe into Muslim countries. Not my thing. By the time we checked into a more western style resort it was luxurious…but also not very culturally Africa or Morocco. Those are the trade offs I guess. I doubt we’ll ever go back and I know we won’t be going to Egypt

  • JWC

    These are America’s Friends I am sorry but a country that can;t control its gun laws and ownership, Voets against the death penalty for LGBTQ in the UN. I quess really can’t be expected to make good friends either

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    Given how the US voted in the UN, I’m not expecting much in the way of condemnation or comment from the WTH.*

    (White Trash House)

  • JCF
  • Ogre Magi

    A day without muslims and christians is like a day without rats and cockroaches