Rally condemns Egypt anti-gay witch-hunt

Forty people rallied outside the Egyptian Embassy in London on Saturday 18 October to protest against the witch-hunting of LGBTI people in Egypt.

It was part of an International Day of Action in solidarity with persecuted Egyptian LGBTIs. Similar protests took place in Berlin, New York, Mexico City, Ottawa and Barcelona.

The London protest was organised by the African LGBTI organisation, Out and Proud Diamond Group, with the support of the Peter Tatchell Foundation.

Photos of the protest: http://bit.ly/1DsnH6T
(free use, please credit: Peter Tatchell Foundation).

Edwin Sesange, Director of Out and Proud Diamond Group, said:

“The Egyptian government should respect and implement Articles 4 and 9 of its constitution, which call for equality, justice and non-discrimination for all citizens. We urge the international community to encourage the government of Egypt to start respecting its constitution and international human rights conventions.”

Peter Tatchell, Director of the human rights lobby, the Peter Tatchell Foundation, added:

“Egypt is gripped by a homophobic witch-hunt. An estimated 70 Egyptian LGBTI people are in prison; either convicted or awaiting trial.

“Saturday’s rally was in protest at the Egyptian government’s homophobic persecution, which includes entrapment of LGBTI people via social media, torture, forced anal examinations, beatings, imprisonment, evictions and sackings.

“Since the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood government of President Morsi in a military coup, anti-LGBT repression has got worse under the new President, former military strong man Abdel el-Sisi.

“The victimisation of LGBTI Egyptians is symptomatic of a much wider repression of civil society by the new regime. All freedoms and liberties are under attack. We stand in solidarity with all the victims of Sisi’s tyranny,” said Mr Tatchell.

Shahla of the Universalist Muslims in Ottawa, Canada, who also protested the same day for LGBT rights in Egypt, said:

“We call for the immediate release of all the men arrested at an alleged ‘gay’ wedding in September and a halt to government and police tactics of entrapment, intimidation, harassment, torture and imprisonment of sexual minorities in Egypt.”

Dalia from Egypt, one of the organisers of the Solidarity with Egypt LGBT campaign, sent a message of defiance:

“We will not be silent, and will continue to speak out and condemn the brutality of the Egyptian government towards LGBTQ people. We cannot stand idly in the face of such human rights violations. Our campaign will continue to expand and grow, with the help of those we are connected to, and those we hope to work with in the future.”

Further information:

Edwin Sesange, Director, Out and Proud Diamond Group
0744 806 3053

Peter Tatchell
Director, Peter Tatchell Foundation
0207 403 1790