Egypt Embarks on an Unprecedented Anti-LGBT Crackdown

Egypt Embarks on an Unprecedented Anti-LGBT Crackdown
Fans of the Lebanese rock group Mashrou' Leila wave a rainbow flag at a concert in Cairo, Egypt, Sept. 22 2017 (DPA photo by Benno Schwinghammer).

Editor’s Note: This article is part of an ongoing series on LGBT rights and discrimination in various countries around the world.

Since a September concert in Cairo during which a few concertgoers waved rainbow pride flags, the Egyptian government has initiated a severe crackdown on the country’s LGBT community. Dozens have been arrested, while much of the Egyptian media and conservative religious figures have stoked widespread homophobia. In an email interview, Neela Ghoshal, a senior researcher on LGBT rights at Human Rights Watch, discusses the unprecedented scale of the crackdown, how the government justifies it, and how responsive Egypt is to international pressure.

WPR: What is the extent of the latest crackdown against LGBT people in Egypt?

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