Dear President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Minister of the Interior Magdy Abdel Ghaffar,
I am writing to express my grave concern regarding the recent homophobic crackdown in Egypt.
Since the recent crackdown began we know that at least 70 people have been arrested and many of them are charged with various crimes, all because they are perceived as being gay. The news that 5 of those arrested have been subjected to treatment that constitutes torture is exceptionally is deeply troubling.
I also wish to express grave concern that over 60 members of parliament have signed a bill criminalizing “homosexuality” in Egypt.
Egypt is state party to different conventions that prohibits torture and other ill-treatment, as well as the persecution (or discrimination) against people based on their real or perceived sexual orientation. These people have done nothing that constitute a crime under international law, therefore we urge you to:
• Immediately and unconditionally release all those detained on the basis of their real or perceived sexual orientation, quash the sentences of those already convicted and drop all charges;
• Immediately end all forced anal examinations on detainees as they amount to torture and or other ill-treatment and order a prompt, impartial and effective investigation into the examinations that have already taken place;
• Reject the bill criminalising “same-sex activity” and any future legislation which fails to recognise and protect the rights of everyone, regardless of their real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity, to freedom of expression and assembly, freedom from discrimination and equality before the law.
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