Egypt's imprisonment of LGBTQ citizens

On September 22nd 2017, Marina Eskander, a public speaker on a BuzzFeed video, educated us about a group of Egyptians raised the rainbow flag at a Mashrou’ Leila concert, which led to a widespread arrest of LGBTQ members in Egypt. Police men started catfishing homosexuals through dating apps in order to arrest them. Police have also beaten and physical harassed LGBTQ members by groping them and threatening sexual violence. Limitations were set for legal family visitation, and forced anal examinations were forced upon LGBTQ citizens to check for homosexual conduct. Finally, to add more fuel to the fire an Egyptian news broadcast called LTC compared homosexuals to terrorist because liking someone of the same gender is just as bad as a terrorist attacking other nations.

We all have the right to love whoever we please. The affection people of the same gender shown for each other isn’t harming anyone physically, unlike what actual terrorists, who harm people and or buildings. It’s disturbing how the Egyptian news broadcasts can even compare homosexuality to terrorism. News should never be hateful to a subject in a story.

Tracey Kane, a junior at EHHS shared his thoughts after viewing this video, “My thoughts consisted of sadness and why this was happening to the LGBTQ community, although the events of the video don’t impact me personally, it impacts the LGBTQ community as a whole.” Other East Haven High School students show sympathy for the LGBTQ community because of the backlash they have been receiving through the news and police brutalities. Even the United Nations (UN) agree that, “Arresting or detaining people based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity is by definition arbitrary and violates international law.” The Egyptian LGBTQ citizens don’t deserve the treatment that Egypt is giving to them. The arrests and comparison to terrorism were terrible. However, the beatings, the limitations on family visits, and forced examinations, as described by Eskander and the UN in the video, are a violation of basic human rights.

Calling attention to these issues are important to putting an end to the cruelty towards the LGBT community. According to Kane, “We can eliminate these issues by, bringing attention to it and addressing it as best as we can.” Luckily, organizations like, “No Hate Egypt” and “Solidarity with Egypt LGBTQ+” are around with Egyptians all over the world protesting against the tragedy going on in their native home. Eskander explained in the video that the organizations supporting the rights for the LGBTQ community are working hard to get the innocent imprisoned LGBTQ members out of jail.

Egypt isn’t like the U.S, they have different laws than we do, especially when it comes to sexuality. The government and its people need to realize that there is a fine line between disagreeing with others choices and abusing others for their choices. Physical and verbal abuse isn’t necessary at all, and it won’t solve any issue, it just adds more fuel to the fire. The UN and other activists are working to help free the imprisoned LGBTQ people across Egypt. Let’s hope that people around the world will start reevaluating their level of compassion and acceptance towards the LGBTQ community.

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