Mass arrests, proposed formal GLBTQ criminalization in Egypt draw emergency protest

On the 8th of November, protesters from Amnesty International, Human Rights First, Human Rights Campaign(HRC) and the local Egyptian community showed up at the Egyptian Cultural and Educational Bureau to condemn a proposed law to impose prison terms of up to 5 years for almost any kind of GLBTQ social activities, activism, or publicity.

The current government of Egypt is a military coup regime that took power in 2013. Since that time conditions for GLBTQ Egyptians have gotten worse and worse, and speakers at the rally reported a rapid recent increase in police assaults on the GLBTQ community. Even without the proposed formal criminalization, other laws are used to justify mass arrests of everyone found at GLBTQ parties or gatherings, and in some cases police are doxing arrestees(publishing personal information).

One chant heard at the Nov 8 protest was “No Justice, no peace!” In the Middle East that is no joke at all. The government of Egypt is attacking not only the GLBTQ community but journalists and all manner of political opponents. Formal laws to declare an entire group of people to be illegal are the kind of dragon’s teeth that sprout into insurgencies and civil wars once they are sown.

RELATED:al-Jazeera calls overall situation in Egypt “worse off on every indicator” since the coup, worse even than Mubarak.

Video of the protest at the Egyptian Cultural and Educational Bureau

Protesters in front of the Egyptian Cultural & Educational Bureau

Police cars blocked the view of the protest from the street

Protesters lined both sides of the sidewalk on short notice


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