As Egypt continues its anti-gay crackdown, a new proposed bill will give authorities even more power to prosecute LGBT+ people.
Last month, a group of men proudly waved the rainbow Pride flag at a Mashrou’ Leila concert in Cairo.
However, following the incident it has been reported that 70 people have been arrested and handed sentences ranging from six months to six years.
Homosexuality isn’t illegal in Egypt, but gay men are being charged with debauchery, immorality or blasphemy.
What’s more, authorities in Egypt don’t deny the fact they are specifically targeting LGBT+ people, with state media and the religious establishment claiming that it’s a public duty to tackle the spread of homosexuality.
But now, MP Riyad Abdel Sattar has proposed a new measure that would see homosexuality made illegal, and LGBT+ people and their “supporters” face lengthy prison sentences, according to The New Arab.
“Any person engaging in homosexuality in a public or private place should be subjected to punitive action that should be no less than one year and not exceeding three years in jail,” a draft of the proposed bill states.
If you are repeat offender, the consequences would rise to five years behind bars.
As for activists, campaigners, or even journalists showing support or covering LGBT+ events, they could face up three years in prison.
HRC Global Director Ty Cobb has branded the measure “one of the most dangerous anti-LGBTQ proposals we have seen in recent memory.”
Egypt is considered one of the worst places in the world to be homosexual, with a 2013 survey finding that 95% of Egyptians don’t think LGBT+ people should be accepted by society.
Gay dating apps Grindr and Hornet are issuing safety warnings and tips in Arabic to users in the region who are at risk of being targeted by authorities.
Tips that Grindr are issuing include letting close ones know where you are going before you meet someone, double checking if you have mutual friends with the other user, and attempting to meet in a virtual space so you can be certain that you are talking to another LGBT+ person and not an undercover official.