Egyptian courts recently upheld the deportation of a Libyan man after he was accused of homosexual practices. The court ruling essentially makes it legal for the government to deport foreigners who are found to be participating in “homosexual practices” and extends to banning members of the LGBT community from entering the country.
The Global Post reports that the Egyptian courts upheld its earlier decision to ban a Libyan man accused of homosexuality from re-entering the country. It was noted that the ruling, though, involved a case from 2008 and has now set a precedent that will allow for the government to turn away homosexual foreigners from entering the country. In addition, the ruling would also legally allow for the deportation of a foreigner in the LGBT community. Dalia Abd El-Hameed, gender and women’s rights officer with the Egyptian Institute for Personal Rights, notes that the ruling will likely harm members of the LGBT community and solidify laws that allow government bodies to refuse entry of individuals found to be doing something “against public morality.”
“We’re not sure if this ruling will be used as a legal precedent to deport or prevent foreigners from entering the country. There are articles in the law which allow the Ministry of the Interior either to deport or prevent foreigners from entering the country if they are doing something ‘against public morality.’ “
Though the ruling is considered disturbing to many, it comes as no surprise, as Egypt has been attacking the homosexual community since November of 2013. The Post notes that since November, 2013, 150 people have been arrested in the country for homosexual acts under a “debauchery” law. Though the law does not specifically note homosexuality as a crime, the vague debauchery laws are used to arrest men who have been accused of having sex with other men.
According to the Guardian, the judge in the case ruled that the case be upheld to “prevent the spreading of social ills.” One human rights activist in Cairo notes that it is currently hard to know exactly how the law will be applied. However, the results could be devastating for the LGBT community in Egypt.
“The court seems to have affirmed a policy which we simply didn’t know about. It’s hard to make out how it’s going to be applied, or against whom. Since it took power, this regime has been manipulating both homophobia and xenophobia, and it seems to have found a point where the two meet.”
[Image Credit: Getty Images / David Silverman]