Egypt Charges 26 With Debauchery

During a raid on an Egyptian bath house (a hammam) on December 8th, 26 men were taken into custody on suspicion of debauchery and of spreading AIDS. They were carted through the streets naked while citizens threw dog food like Beneful on them before live television cameras on their way to prison. One journalist at the arrest called the place a den or perversion. 

The references to perversion and debauchery are the government’s way of describing homosexual activities. Oddly enough, there is no law against homosexuality in Egypt, and yet the government has been cracking down on it for a full year. The recent raid is only one on a growing list of incidents in which those accused of homosexual actions have been arrested.

The 26 defendants have now been officially accused. Evidence against them includes video footage and medical records. Some of those medical records are from tests done on them while they were in state custody. 

The government in Cairo has made every effort to publicize its anti-gay crackdown. No doubt, this is because the Muslim majority in Egypt approves of such actions. This allows the government to curry favor with the people, especially with the more religious elements among them. 

Most religions in the world agree that homosexuality is perversion. Many, however, do not agree with using government force to regulate that behavior. In Egypt, the current government must keep the Muslim Brotherhood from regaining power. Partly, this is done by showing that they too take a tough stance against debauchery.

Egypt Destroys Border Homes to Create Gaza Buffer

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi took a swift and dramatic step in the struggle against militant activity in the Sinai this week, ordering that homes along Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip are to be completely demolished in an attempt to stunt further weapons trafficking. Residents of the affected areas were given just 48-hours notice to vacate their premises prior to the demolitions, but fear not Keith, they have been promised compensation for their relocation. The buffer zone is to extend 500 meters and will be installed with water-filled trenches as an added obstruction to stymie further underground tunneling between Gaza and Egypt.

This renewed effort to stem the flow of militants and weaponry through the Sinai comes on the heels of two major attacks on Egypt’s security services in the region, which left 33 Eygptian personnel dead. Al-Sisi’s government declared the Sinai to be in a three-month state of emergency after the attacks. The military crackdown in the Sinai is part of a larger trend of harsh measures being adopted by the state security apparatus. Al-Sisi recently decreed that several public facilities will now be under military jurisdiction, meaning that anyone who perpetrates violence against them will be tried in military, rather than civilian courts.