Egyptian Police Arrest at Least 14 Men for 'Practicing Homosexuality'

By Daniel Reynolds

Originally published on Advocate.com October 14 2013 3:53 PM ET

At least 14 men have been arrested at an Egyptian health club for "practicing homosexuality," according to the International Business Times, which referenced a translation of a Saturday article from Akhbar el-Youm, a state newspaper.

The Cairo club, described as a "small gym and sauna" by LGBT activist Scott Long on his blog Paper Bird, was raided by police, who discovered the men "in positions that are against religious precepts." Authorities also reportedly found pills and sexual stimulants at the facility, which had been charging roughly $7 to $28 for each "encounter."

Prosecutor Mohammed Sayed Ahmed ordered that the club be closed and that the men be detained for at least four days after their arrests. Employees of the facility were also apprehended.

The prosecutor also ordered that the suspects be reviewed for a "forensic report," which may include an anal examination, according to Long, the former executive director of the LGBT arm at Human Rights Watch. He called these exams an "intrusive, abusive and inhuman treatment."

Although there Egypt does not have explicit antigay legislation, men perceived to be gay are often prosecuted under a "debauchery" law, according to a 2010 report by Amnesty International. That year 10 men were arrested in Cairo and prosecuted for having consensual sex.