Alexandria’s Dekhelia prosecution has ordered the detention of 10 people for four days, pending investigation into drug charges and debauchery charges, which are commonly used to prosecute people authorities claim are LGBTQ, according to lawyer Hamdy Khalaf.
Police arrested the suspects on Monday. According to Khalaf, the police investigation states that one of the suspects, a real estate broker, rents out an apartment in the Agami district west of Alexandria for men “seeking pleasure from men.” Police said wigs, women’s garments and makeup, as well as two blister packs of narcotic pills were found in the suspects’ possession.
Khalaf said the suspects’ testimonies contradicted the police’s arrest report, noting that the police officer who conducted the arrest claimed the suspects were all arrested from a residential apartment, while seven suspects told prosecutors they were arrested from the street an hour earlier than the time stated in the report.
Khalaf added that the suspects denied the charges leveled against them, as well as any connection to the collected evidence. The lawyer added that he contested the prosecution’s warrant due to insufficient cause for arrest and discrepancies between the accounts provided by the arresting police officer and the accounts provided by those arrested during the interrogations.
Egypt’s police launched an arrest campaign against suspected LGBTQ individuals last October and September. The campaign followed the raising of a rainbow flag at a concert by the band Mashrou’ Leila on September 26. Over 75 people were arrested and some were handed sentences ranging from one to six years in prison, according to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.