Homosexuality is still a big taboo in most Muslim countries. While some of them are outspokenly targeting the LGBTQ community, others may be using more subtle means. A BBC report now reveals the actions of the Egyptian moral guardians.
“Now don’t be like that,” writes an Egyptian police officer in an app for gay men. “Don’t be shy.” The young man who received the messages is now in prison, according to the BBC. Because homosexuality is not punishable per se in Egypt, the accusation is “offering sexual services free of charge”.
According to the “BBC” revelations, many homosexuals in Egypt are like him. The British broadcaster is said to have several logs from police stations in which the officers try to ambush gay men via an app. In the WhosHere app, the above conversation started something like this:
“Have you ever slept with a man?”
“How about we meet up?”
“Come on, my dear. Do not be shy. We meet in public and then we go to my apartment.”
Egyptian officials aren’t just hunting down locals. Even foreigners have already come into their sights. For example Matt, whose name was changed from the “BBC”. A police officer is said to have approached him on the gay platform “Grindr” and engaged him in a conversation.
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A later police report states that Matt “admitted his perversion, his willingness to engage in sexual activity for free and to send photographs of himself and his body”. He was arrested, convicted and ultimately expelled from the country.
According to “BBC”, there are many cases like Matt’s or that of the young Egyptian. The accused are often threatened, for example with fabricated stories that could put them in prison for a longer period of time. In almost all cases, the WhosHere app was involved. It is said to be known for its security vulnerabilities. In this way, hackers could easily get hold of sensitive data such as locations.
The Egyptian government initially declined to comment on the BBC’s allegations.