While homosexuality isn’t illegal in Egypt, legislation allows for allegations of debauchery and lewd behaviour

CAIRO – Egyptian court has upheld the decision to deport a Libyan national studying in Egypt for being homosexual.

Whilst it is not strictly illegal to be gay in Egypt, the legislation and police enforcement policies allow for allegations of debauchery and irreligious and lewd behaviour, to cover for the homophobia found in the heart of the Arab Spring.

The unnamed deportee was a student at Cairo’s Arab Academy for Maritime Transport, and will not be allowed back to complete his studies.

Another serious problem with the ruling is that the student is being forced to return to Libya. At the moment, the United Nations has said no-one should be forced to enter the country, as there are still severe human rights violations ongoing.

Pew surveys gathered from March 2nd to May1st 2013, give an excellent and surprising insight into the mindset of Egyptians. Of the 1000 Egyptians surveyed, only 3% between 18-29 years old, thought homosexuality should be accepted. 2% of 30-49 year olds think it should be accepted and 3% of 50+ citizens.

With an overall score of 95% of the 1000 citizens polled believing homosexuality should not be accepted socially, this recent verdict should not come as a surprise to anyone.

Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights criticised the government earlier this year over treatment of the men arrested in the ‘Al Bahr Bathhouse’, asking them to “stop pursuing people based on their sexual orientation”.

Commentators in Egypt believe these the ever encroaching human rights and personal freedom violation committed by the el-Sisi government, are only the beginning.

“Seemingly non-democratic” was how el-Sisi’s election opposition, Hamdeen Sabahi, called the 2014 Egyptian presidential election. El-Sisi seems to be flexing his muscles

Democracy International, one of the international organisations that were involved in monitoring the election, commented that the “Integrity of Egypt’s electoral process” was potentially at question.

Many international eyes will be on Egypt as the LGBT and human rights questions continue to arise, and potentially continue to be abused by el-Sisi and an increasingly troubling government.

Joe Thorpe, Correspondent (Africa)

Image Courtesy: Steven Damron (, Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic | Flickr