Egypt police arrest leader of 'gay sex network'
Published Thursday 30/08/2012 (updated) 31/08/2012 18:14
Egyptian forces increased their presence in the Sinai in August.
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma’an) -- Egyptian police raided beach chalets in el-Arish and arrested a man, saying that he headed a "gay sex network."
The man is from Cairo, police sources told Ma'an, and was transferred to prosecutors. The circumstances of the arrest were not immediately clear nor was it known what charges the unidentified suspect could face.
Homosexuality is not illegal in Egypt but other charges have been been used persecute the gay community and imprison gay men.
In June, an Egyptian delegation at the UN Human Rights Council implied that it did not consider members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to be "real people."
"Concerning the highly controversial notion of sexual orientation, we can only reiterate that it is not part of the universally recognized human rights," delegate Omar Shalaby said.
Egypt's state persecution of its gay community drew worldwide attention in 2001 when 52 men were arrested in a raid on a Nile boat cruise and accused of participating in a gay sex party.
Some 23 of the men were convicted and sentenced to up to five years for "debauchery" and "defaming Islam."
Post-revolution, the ruling Muslim Brotherhood's embrace of democracy has not extended to Egypt's gay community.
Egypt's first online magazine for the gay community, Ehna, was shut down earlier this year citing "security reasons," the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya news site reported.
The magazine's Facebook page stated: "We have been forced to shut down the online magazine due to security reasons. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience."