Egyptian police are using Grindr to lure gay and bi men to hotel rooms to arrest them.

Four people were imprisoned for three years for homosexuality in Egypt last month, Pink News has reported.

Homosexuality is effectively illegal in Egypt under the country’s public morality and order laws.

Grindr and other hookup apps have responded by adding warnings advising caution in meeting people via the apps.

Dalia Abdel-Hameed, a gender rights researcher with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, said there is a “mania” around penetration.

“It’s related to the fact that men are using apps more than women and an obsession of who is being penetrated,” said Abdel-Hameed.

“There is this penetration mania in Egypt due to religious reasons, mostly.”

The Forensic Medical Authority has reportedly carried out anal examinations on some of the men arrested.

Egypt is in the midst of a crackdown on homosexuality, which began in September after rainbow flags were flown at a performance by Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila, whose lead singer Hamed Sinno is an openly gay LGBTI rights advocate.

Egypt’s conservative media attacked the LGBTI community after the concert, with one TV host telling his audience, “Homosexuality is a crime that’s as terrible as terrorism.”

Authorities have targeted the queer community, raiding homes and arresting more than 60 people so far.

Ten people arrested immediately after the concert were sentenced to six years in prison for “debauchery”.

Egypt’s LGBTI crackdown has primarily targeted men, but one woman was detained for “promoting sexual deviancy” and “habitual debauchery” over waving a rainbow flag.

Gay activist Omar Sharif Jr, the grandson of Egyptian actor Omar Sharif, said he is “angry and disheartened” by the arrests of LGBTI people.

“The action of authorities are an affront to basic human rights and dignity,” he said.

“No one should be arrested for proudly expressing their authentic selves—they should be celebrated.

“Forcing people to undergo invasive medical examinations is tantamount to torture.

“Let’s be clear, Egyptian authorities are not protecting morality, they are spitting in the face of it.”

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