Egyptian police arrest seven 'transsexuals' in Cairo on debauchery charges

The police say they created fake webpages to entrap the men

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Egyptian police have arrested seven men believed to be transsexuals for debauchery - the charge often used against men accused of homosexuality.

Major General Magdy Moussa of the Morality Police called the seven “preverts”, and said they had formed a “network for practicing debauchery” on social media, according to a report by the Al-Youm el-Saba newspaper, translated by Cairo Scene.

Mr Moussa went on to allege that the force has evidence to suggest that members of the group had published naked photos of themselves online.

He added that the government had monitored the men, and created fake webpages to entrap them.

The group were subsequently arrested at a nightclub in the capital Cairo, after police arranged to meet them at a club on Al-Haram Road and move on to an apartment “to participate in debauchery.”

Shortly after, Al-Youm el-Saba broadcast a video that appears to shows the seven men talking with the police.

The police sting comes after 26 men arrested in a raid on a bathouse were acquitted in January, and were cleared of charges including debauchery.

“They destroyed our lives. God rescued us,” said one of the defendants at the time.

While there are no laws in Egypt criminalising homosexuality, a decades' old law criminalising prostitution is often used in penalising the LGBT community.

Five of the defendants in Monday's trial - the owner of the bathhouse and four staff members - were tried for facilitating debauchery in exchange for money.

Human rights activists say 2014 was the worst year in a decade for Egypt's gay community, with at least 150 men arrested or put on trial.

Last month it was revealed that authorities in Egypt are using “abusive” anal examination techniques they claim can detect “chronic homosexuals”, to arrest and imprison men.

The government is using discredited scientific theories dating back more than 150 years to conduct the so-called tests, which are common in around 70 countries where sodomy is still illegal.

A Human Rights Watch report called the homosexuality tests “invasive, intrusive, abusive, and profoundly humiliating…a form of torture, carried out in violation of international standards and professional principles”.

Additional reporting by PA