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Drop Charges Against Witnesses, Investigate Alleged Perpetrators

Six months after a woman reported that several men had gang-raped her in Cairo’s Fairmont Hotel in 2014, Egyptian authorities have failed to adequately investigate the suspects, four of whom remain in pretrial detention while several others are under…
Women chant slogans as they gather to protest sexual harassment in front of the opera house in Cairo on June 14, 2014. 
News

Men Purportedly Subject to Abuse in Custody, Forced Anal Exams

When Seif Bedour, 21, returned to Egypt this year to visit his family after years studying abroad, he did not expect to end up behind bars. His “crime”? “Suspicion” about his sexual orientation. Bedour was looking forward to his graduation. Now, he…
Seif Bedour, 21 (Left) and Ahmed al-Ganzoury, 40 (Right)
News

Ignoring LGBT Rights Endangers People in Time of COVID-19

The Egyptian government is refusing to recognize the existence of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, flouting its responsibility to protect the rights of everyone. On March 12, during its third Universal…
Young people wave a rainbow flag at a Cairo concert featuring the Lebanese Band Mashrou’ Leila. Activist Ahmed Alaa confirmed that he raised a rainbow flag at the concert in a Buzzfeed video including this image prior to his arrest.
News

Egyptian-American Actor’s Portrayal of Gay Rocker Censored in Egypt

Egyptian authorities were eager to claim a connection to Egyptian-American actor Rami Malek after his best actor win at the Academy Awards last week. Egypt’s Immigration Ministry even tweeted a quote from Malek’s Oscar acceptance speech…
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News

TV Host Sentenced for Interviewing Gay Man

An Egyptian television anchor was unexpectedly sentenced to one year in prison for interviewing a gay man on TV last week. The conviction of Mohamed Al-Ghaity, a host on the satellite channel LTV, reveals the lengths the government will…
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News

10 Held by Police at Risk of Torture

Update: After this dispatch was published, Human Rights Watch learned that Ahmed Alaa was released on bail on the evening of January 21. The case against Alaa for allegedly waving a rainbow flag remains open, although no trial date has…
Young people wave a rainbow flag at a Cairo concert featuring the Lebanese Band Mashrou’ Leila. Activist Ahmed Alaa confirmed that he raised a rainbow flag at the concert in a Buzzfeed video including this image prior to his arrest.
News

South Africa Should Distance Itself

While Egypt conducts wholesale persecution of sexual and gender minorities at home, its United Nations representatives are undermining universal human rights by using the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) people as a…
A woman holds her hands up during the Durban Pride parade where several hundred people marched through the Durban city centre in support of gay rights, July 30, 2011.
News

Court Ruling Opens the Way to Marriage Equality

Taiwan’s constitutional court this week paved the way for marriage equality in the country by striking down the legal definition of marriage as “between a man and a woman.” The landmark decision declared this limited…
Supporters hug each other during a rally after Taiwan's constitutional court ruled that same-sex couples have the right to legally marry, the first such ruling in Asia, in Taipei, Taiwan May 24, 2017.
News

Transgender Woman Helps People ‘Searching for Answers’

I was in Colombia last week to speak at an event about my work for Human Rights Watch with a focus on homophobic and transphobic bullying. I was to be interviewed by Brigitte Baptiste, who I had never met. When I took my seat in front of hundreds of…
Brigitte Baptiste (L) and Human Rights Watch LGBT Advocacy Director Boris Dittrich, Colombia, February 2017.
News
The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised concern among public health officials across the Americas. The World Health Organization warned Sunday that the virus is likely to spread further across the region. At first glance,…
A woman walks away from her apartment as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighborhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016.
News
On December 7, a large group of men were arrested for “practicing debauchery” in a bathhouse in Cairo. Reports vary on the numbers, but there is no doubt that this was a huge raid, with estimates ranging from 25 to 33. A pro-government television show…