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Egyptian police arrest seven in 'transsexual' string

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Egyptian police used fake profiles to entrap the seven men

Egyptian police have arrested seven men believed to be transsexuals for debauchery after using fake dating profiles to lure them to a nightclub.

Head of the country's 'Morality Police' Major General Magdy Moussa called the men “perverts”, and said they had formed a “network for practicing debauchery” on social media.

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

The seven men were 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”.

The charge of debauchery is often used against men accused of homosexuality in Egypt.

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 believed to be using discredited scientific theories dating back more than 150 years to conduct the 'gay 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”.

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