EGYPT: 14 Gay Men Arrested At Sauna

Egyptian authorities have arrested 14 gay men for “committing homosexual acts” at an underground Cairo sauna that may have presented itself as a medical center.

An Egyptian prosecutor ordered on Saturday (12 October) that they be held for four days to enable them to be sent to a pathologist ‘for forensic reports’. He has also ordered and that the centre be shut down and that all evidence be confiscated whilst investigations were carried out. The Egyptian authorities raided the centre after confirmed reports that the ‘immoral acts’ were occurring between males aged between 18 to 57 years old. Egypt has a poor record on LGBT rights. Under the Mubarak regime, homosexuality was seen as ‘taboo’, with strict punishments for those accused of being gay. Following the revolution in 2011, conditions have not improved, with the previously-in-power Muslim Brotherhood’s delegation to the UN not considering gays to be ‘real people’.

More from Gay Star News:

Neighbors have broken into a gym and sauna in Egypt and ‘destroyed it’ after a police raid against gay sex, according to unconfirmed reports GSN has received. Some reports are suggesting the 14 [arrested men] were paraded to the police station either naked or only partly clothed after the raid on Friday (11 October). A prosecutor ordered they should be held for ‘forensic reports’. Again unconfirmed reports suggest this may include ‘anal probe’ tests to examine if they have engaged in gay anal sex. These tests, often used in the Middle East and North Africa have been discredited as scientifically meaningless and are considered a form of torture by international human rights bodies. The men who may undergo this range in age from just 18 to 57. Egyptian media and GSN reported the number of arrests at 14 but it has now emerged that may just be the number of ‘clients’ rounded up in the raid. Workers and the ‘health club’ manager have also apparently been detained.

More about the venue from Buzzfeed:

“Information had been received about the center’s illegal activity, and that it welcomed perverted men and boys to practice immorality in its rooms. The investigation has proved the information correct; the center was raided, and 14 men were caught, in positions that are against religious precepts,” reported the State-run Akhbar el-Youm newspaper. “Also, the management staff were caught along with a large quantity of pills and sexual stimulants. It emerged that the center only engages in this illegal activity in return for payments of between 50 and 200 pounds [$7–$28] for one encounter.”

Renowned activist Scott Long writes on his blog:

“I have at least one friend who has visited. It was a small gym and sauna, converted from a private apartment and operating as a business for years. It’s well known in the surrounding streets; when my friend went there about three years ago — before the Revolution — and asked directions, the neighbors said ‘Oh, the hammam’, or baths, and pointed the way. The entry fee was 25 pounds back then. It’s unlikely the price has gone up eightfold in the interim, so the figures the police gave (with the strong suggestion of prostitution) are probably nonsense. There is a good chance that the ‘pills and sexual stimulants’ the police found are vitamins, or even steroids.”