News article

Date: 25. August 2016

Under Arrest:
Police in Egypt Using Dating Apps to Arrest LGBT Members

Online dating platforms aimed at LGBT singles (such as Grindr) are becoming dangerous for those living in conservative Muslim countries such as Egypt. Gay and lesbian singles in Egypt now face a risk of being catfished by the police.

According to Egyptian lifestyle media magazine CairoScene, government authorities have been utilising gay dating apps to find members of the LGBT community and subsequently arrest and detain them. It was also cited that such online dating platforms as Grind are “jeopardising” the safety of the homosexual population in Egypt.

"There have been a number of arrests in the last few months linked to these applications," said a nameless quote from the magazine.

According to the source, it was government authorities who were using triangulation technology in order to pinpoint the exact location of the users they were trying to catch. They stated that finding a user’s position is quite easy and can be done within a few hundred metres. Since photographs are also uploaded, it is incredibly easy for the police to identify people.

"It baffles me how easily people are willing to share such personal information in a country like Egypt - it is beyond stupid," asserted the source. "I would advise anyone to be careful when dating online."

Homosexuality is not specifically illegal in Egypt, however there is a considerable amount of hostility aimed towards the LGBT population there. In many cases, punitive measures are also used against them based on other charges. There has also been a very recent crackdown on the LGBT community and therefore a lot of members have started to conceal their identity in the fear that they may suffer physical harm or get arrested.

In April, there was a sentence carried out against eleven men who had been accused of taking part in homosexual acts, with a term of up to twelve years in prison. The charges were “inciting debauchery”. In 2014, 26 men in Egypt were detained after a bath house in Cairo was raided by police who believed that gay orgies were being held. At a later date, the court released the men.