(Reuters) – Six Egyptian men arrested for “promoting sexual deviancy” and “debauchery” on social media will be subjected to anal examinations ahead of their Oct. 1 trial, Amnesty International said on Saturday.
Their arrest is part of a wider crackdown against homosexuality that started last week when a group of people were seen raising a rainbow flag at a concert, a rare public show of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in the conservative Muslim country.
At least 11 people have since been arrested, Amnesty said, and one man has been sentenced to six years in jail after local media launched a highly critical campaign against those who raised the rainbow flag at a Mashrou’ Leila concert, a popular Lebanese alternative rock band whose lead singer is openly gay.
Amnesty said the Forensic Medical Authority was due to subject the six men to anal examinations to determine whether they have had homosexual sex.
Judicial sources said any defendant accused of “debauchery” or “sexual deviancy”, a euphemism for homosexuality in Egypt, is subjected to a medical examination based on an order from the Public Prosecutor.
“Allegations of torturing or insulting those medically examined are lies not worth responding to. The examinations are carried out by a forensic doctor who swore to respect his profession and its ethics,” one judicial source said.
Amnesty said such examinations violate the prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment under international law.