Living in fear: Egypt's gay community

Published: December 9, 2014

Ian Lee & Sarah Sirgany
Original Article:

Two men exchange rings and hug in celebration aboard a Nile boat, as ululations fill the air and a traditional engagement song plays in the background.

But within days, their celebration has turned to shock and sadness: after a video of the "gay wedding" spread across Egyptian social media, the men were arrested and eventually sentenced to three years in prison for distributing pornographic material.

Homosexuality is not mentioned in the Egyptian penal code, and technically it is not illegal, but members of the LGBT community are often arrested and charged with pornography, prostitution or debauchery.

At least 20 homosexual and transgender persons were convicted of debauchery and other charges in 2014, which human rights activists say has been the worst year for the community in recent memory.

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