Egypt has ruled that non-nationals will be deported from the country and banned from re-entry if they are LGBT.
Egypt’s Administrative Court has upheld the right of the Interior Ministry to deport LGBT tourists and stop them from ever entering the country again.
The law came to public attention when the court rejected an appeal against the Interior Ministry’s deportation of a gay Libyan national, saying that it was “in the country’s public interest” that the gay man leave. The exact charges against the young man have yet to be made public.
The man appealed his deportation, telling the court that if he was forced to leave he would not be able to complete his education at the Arab Academy for Maritime Transport in the capital, Cairo. This specific incident has now set a precedent for future cases.
While homosexuality is not specifically illegal in Egypt, certain homosexual behaviour falls under the country’s “debauchery laws” and can be punishable by up to 17 years in prison.
In 2001, 52 men were arrested at a Cairo gay nightclub and were charged with “habitual debauchery” and “obscene behaviour”. The case gained international coverage and was condemned by human rights organisations due to the horrific beatings and examinations in the men were subjected to in order to “prove their homosexuality”. The Cairo 52 were also forced to spend 22 hours per day in an overcrowded cell with no beds. Only 29 men were acquitted, with the rest receiving three year jail sentences.
© 2015 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.