Student on the run after his boyfriend jailed for being gay in EgyptOnline Only, Section 4A, Top Highlights Tuesday, October 31st, 2017
A 21-year-old student is on the run after his boyfriend was jailed for being gay in Egypt, reports Gay Star News.
The young psychology major, called Karim (name changed to protect his identity), is fleeing his home due to the increased rampant anti-LGBTI crackdown by police.
Dozens have been arrested, with more than 20 receiving jail sentences ranging from six months to six years. The charges are varied, including ‘debauchery’, ‘inciting sexual deviancy’ and ‘joining an outlawed group’.
Karim’s boyfriend Omar [not his name] of nine months was one of the many arrested following rainbow flags being raised at the Mashrou’ Leila concert in Cairo. ‘Omar is part of what police call an “outlawed” group – a student union for advocates,’ Karim explained to Gay Star News.
‘He’s working to get his law degree to tackle restrictions on freedom of speech in Egypt.’
Last week, MP Riyad Abdel Sattar authored a measure that would sentence LGBTI people, and allies, to jail.
‘Any person engaging in homosexuality in a public or private place should be subjected to punitive action that should be no less than one year and not exceeding three years in jail,’ it reads.
‘Individuals that incite same sex relations, either by inciting, facilitating, hosting, or calling for, even if they don’t perform the act itself, will be punished to prison…as well as shutting down the venue.’
Both publicity and advertising for LGBTI parties, bars and clubs will be banned.
‘It is strictly prohibited to carry any symbol or sign of the homosexual community, as well as it’s prohibited to produce, sell, market, or promote such products. Violators will be sentenced to prison for a period no less than one year and no more than three years.’
This means activists, journalists covering gay events, or anyone even carrying a rainbow flag could be imprisoned.
‘With the new law, just by continuing to exist I am considered illegal,’ Karim said.
‘I have to leave Egypt. It’s not safe for people like me anymore.’
Karim is no longer at university. Now at a relative’s home in northern Egypt, he plans to leave for Europe and claim asylum in a city that will accept him.
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