Update on Egypt: Horrifying new law to be passed

By November 4, 2017Egypt, News

Since the 2 October arrests, the situation in Egypt continues to worsen. There will now be a bill passed into Egyptian law that will make Egypt one of the most anti-LGBTI countries in the world. According to an article on intomore.com, Egypt will be “enacting one of the world’s most sweeping and extreme pieces of anti-LGBTQ legislation following a harsh crackdown on the local queer community.

On Wednesday, member of parliament Ryad Abdel Sattar introduced a bill that would criminalize homosexuality in the North African nation, where sodomy isn’t prohibited current under law. Being found guilty for engaging in “perverted sexual relations” results in a one- to three-year prison sentence. Any subsequent conviction means five years behind bars. But the legislation goes much further than that. Similar to Russia’s anti-gay propaganda law, the bill attempts to totally extinguish LGBTQ life in Egypt. “Individuals that incite same sex relations… even if they don’t perform the act itself, will be punished to prison for a period no less than one year and no more than three years, as well as shutting down the venue,” the bill reads, specifically calling out spaces that “host” or “facilitate” LGBTQ events.

Multiple violations of the law, as in the prohibition against sodomy, entail a five-year sentence. The law also targets any media, whether audio or video, which is viewed as promoting homosexuality. Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation banned any mention of LGBTQ issues in news, radio, or television broadcasts earlier this month, unless the subject of discussion is repentance for sin. The bill’s ban on media promotion would likely function similarly, blocking any remotely positive mention of queer people. Anyone found guilty of circulating pro-LGBTQ propaganda will recieve a punishment of up to three years in jail, even if they aren’t queer or transgender.” Read more here.

Lastly, the extremely broad law prohibits Egyptians from carrying “any symbol or sign of the LGBTQ community,” a clear response to the hoisting of a rainbow Pride flag at a Mashrou’ Leila concert last month. The legislation also states that it’s illegal to “produce, sell, market, or promote such products.” Any violation results in a prison sentence of between one and three years.

Pan Africa ILGA continues to call on other countries to put pressure on Egypt to uphold the human rights treatise it is a signatory to. We stand with our Egyptian brothers, sisters and siblings.

As part of the efforts of the Alliance of Queer Egyptian Organizations (AQEO) in Advocacy and Lobbying, they’ve shared an overview and analysis of the context in which the Egyptian Parliament will be presented with a bill to criminalize homosexuality for consideration and voting, thus constituting one of the worst laws criminalizing sexual orientation around the world.

Also attached with this email a video produced by AQEO to promote the rejection of this law on a large scale.

Please post and share in your circles.

Overview of the new Anti LGBT+ Law in Egypt