The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights released a report today titled “The Trap: Punishing Sexual Difference in Egypt.” The report documents and analyses the increasingly frequent incidents, over the last four years, in which police have specifically targeted persons whose sexual orientation or gender identity does not conform to socially-sanctioned norms, specifically gay people or men who have sex with men, or those who are perceived as such, as well as transgender people.
Programs: Civil Liberties
This report follows the journey of some of those arrested, from entrapment to imprisonment, in order to analyse the patterns of this security campaign against those considered to have non-normative sexualities. The report also analyses the roles of different actors in the criminal justice system, including the police, prosecution and Courts of Appeal, as well as the legal loopholes employed by this campaign and the way in which it violates a number of established legal and constitutional principles.
The study includes an analytical section and two annexes. The analysis reviews statutes regulating church construction, significant court rulings of relevance, and their impact on the legal status of existing churches and various official licenses. The study then looks at the types and frequency of sectarian attacks linked with the exercise of the right of worship, offering a quantitative analysis of the 74 sectarian attacks seen in Egypt from January 25, 2011 to August 2016. It describes the flashpoints of tension, the profile of attacks and their relationship to political parties or governing forces, and whether patterns changed in tandem with changes in regime.
The study includes an analytical section and two annexes. The analysis reviews statutes regulating church construction, significant court rulings of relevance, and their impact on the legal status of existing churches and various official licenses. The study then looks at the types and frequency of sectarian attacks linked with the exercise of the right of worship, offering a quantitative analysis of the 74 sectarian attacks seen in Egypt from January 25, 2011 to August 2016.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) condemns the ongoing crackdown targeting LGBTQI individuals, or those perceived to be, that began on September 22 after some audience members at a concert in Cairo raised the rainbow flag, known to symbolize sexual diversity and acceptance of all genders. Since the campaign began at least 57 individuals have been arrested in Cairo and a number of other governorates (the number now stands at 54).
Following the escalating violent attempts to suppress and divide civil society organizations, restrict their resources, and increase security measures to silence advocates for human rights and freedom of speech and expression in Egypt, the Egyptian state and media have exceeded all expectations in spreading fear, discrimination and encouraging hate speech inciting Egyptian citizens against each other.
The two thus renew their call for the Egyptian parliament to amend the law in order to guarantee women’s access to safe abortion in cases where pregnancy constitutes a threat to the woman’s life or health, or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights has criticized the authorities’ handling of the case of Coptic students who were forcibly displaced from al-Arish in North Sinai last February.
To mark International Women’s Day, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights is publishing scenes from the lives of trans women as part of a series titled “They’re Women Too.” The stories’ aim is to spotlight the hardship experienced by trans women in Egypt.
The persistent legal harassment—the closure of the Nadeem Center will not be the last incident—will not deter Egyptian rights organizations from steadfastly exposing the current regime’s abuses and its violations of citizens’ fundamental human rights. We will continue to conduct research, monitor, and raise awareness in service of human rights principles and in defense of those victimized by draconian laws designed to forcefully shutdown the public sphere and all outlets for peaceful expression of opinion.