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Egypt steps up crackdown on homosexuals, arrests 27

By Samy Magdy Associated Press

CAIRO – Egyptian security officials say authorities are stepping up a crackdown on people suspected of homosexuality, arresting a total of 27 over a little more than a week.

Speaking on Tuesday, the officials said the 27 arrested since Sept. 25 include a man and a woman picked up by police Monday and face charges of “debauchery.”

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to brief the media.

Homosexuality is highly taboo in Egypt among Muslims and Christians alike, but it is not explicitly prohibited by law. In practice, authorities prosecute individuals under such charges as “immorality” and “debauchery.

The latest crackdown was in response to the raising of the LGBT rainbow flag during a recent concert in Cairo.

The crackdown has been condemned by international rights groups.

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