A group of Egyptian men have undergone forced anal examinations after they were arrested for waving a rainbow flag at a concert in Cairo, human rights group Amnesty International says.
The flags were flown during a recent concert by Mashrou’ Leila, a Lebanese alternative rock band with an openly gay lead singer.
According to reports, police identified the men from CCTV footage and arrested them on charges of “promoting sexual deviancy” and “debauchery”.
Before their October 1 trial, the men were subjected to invasive anal examinations by the Forensic Medical Authority to determine whether they’ve had gay sex.
Amnesty International said the procedures have “no medical justification,” are a violation of human rights and come under the definition of torture in international law.
“Forced anal examinations are abhorrent and amount to torture,” Amnesty International’s Najia Bounaim said.
“The Egyptian authorities have an appalling track record of using invasive physical tests which amount to torture against detainees in their custody.
“The fact that Egypt’s Public Prosecutor is prioritising hunting down people based on their perceived sexual orientation is utterly deplorable.
“These men should be released immediately and unconditionally — not put on trial.”
Human Rights Watch says Egyptian police actively hunt down gay and bisexual men and transgender women by seeking them out through dating apps and social media.
“Whether they were waving a rainbow flag, chatting on a dating app, or minding their own business in the streets, all these victims should be immediately released,” Human Rights Watch’s Sarah Leah Whitson said.
“The Egyptian government, by rounding people up based on their presumed sexual orientation, is showing flagrant disregard for their rights.”