This week a municipal court in Cairo upheld a new law giving Egypt’s interior ministry the power to deport any individual accused of homosexuality.
The ruling came in the wake of a 2008 case in which a Libyan man who was arrested in Egypt was reported by police to be gay. Although it’s unclear why he was arrested in the first place, the Egyptian government deported him. The accused, who remains nameless in court documents, sued for permission to return to the country in order to finish his studies at the Arabic Academy for Maritime Transport. His case argued that the interior ministry did not have the authority to bar him from the country.
Judge Yahia Dakrory issued the ruling and asserted that the Interior Ministry correctly used its power to protect “the general benefits, religious values, social morals of society and to prevent the spreading of social ills,” according to the ruling.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who came to power by a military coup, has recently been cracking down on gays in Egypt, although this particular case pre-dates his rise to power. Under his rule, the country has seen many anti-“debauchery” cases targeting gays, which experts see as an attempt by Sisi to calm the country’s Muslim extremists.