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Marchers unfurl a huge rainbow flag as they prepare to march in the Equality March for Unity and Pride in Washington, Sunday, June 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Human rights groups are concerned about LGBT crackdowns across the globe


Sixteen men in Egypt have been convicted of "inciting debauchery" and "abnormal sexual relations" and were sentenced to three years in prison in an unprecedented homophobic crackdown. Amnesty International's North Africa campaigns director Najia Bounaim said the sentences are "another example of the ongoing persecution of LGBTI people and the wider crackdown on human rights by Egyptian authorities."

Amnesty reported that in the past two months more than 70 LGBTI people have been arrested with more than 40 being sentenced for up to six years. The 16 men convicted today will serve three years in prison and an additional three years probation.

"At least five of the men sentenced have been subjected to forced anal examinations following their arrest in September," said Bounaim. "Forced anal examinations violate the prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment under international law. We condemn these actions in the strongest terms."

Amnesty is calling for Egyptian authorities to reverse the sentences of the sixteen sentenced men and release them immediately.

Many members of Egypt's parliament have proposed a deeply discriminatory law that would criminalize same-sex activity for the first time in the country's history.

Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have put out press releases with concerns about treatment of LGBT people in Russia, China, Japan, Mexico and Central America and other former Soviet republics and The Guardian recently reported that members of the LGBT community in Turkey fear government suppression due to a ban on gay cultural events.

Earlier this year Chechnya, a region that is a subject of Russia, and Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic, were criticized heavily by Human Rights organizations for crackdowns and purges that endangered the LGBT communities in those countries. Additionally, the Russian government has been heavily criticized for not stepping in and condemning the attacks on activists, advocates, and community members.

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