A new documentary from the BBC has shed a spotlight on Egyptian police and their underground tactics utilising online dating sites to target the LGBTQ+ community.

The documentary titled: Queer Egypt Under Attack uncovers the murky and disturbing business between violent criminal gangs and corrupt Egyptian police officers in targeting Egypt’s vulnerable  LGBTQ+ community.

Featuring Journalist and presenter Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, who undertook a two-year-long investigation for BBC News, uncovered the underground tactics used to lure LGBTQ+ people before eventually prosecuting them.


“Friends there tell me that the atmosphere has recently become far more brutal, and the tactics for tracking down LGBT people more sophisticated,” Egyptian-born Shihab-Eldin explains.

The prosecutions, which are held up with often fabricating evidence, see members of the rainbow community charged under a “debauchery” law – As Egypt currently does not have specific legislation banning homosexuality.

Meeting real people, the documentary shows individuals who have fallen victim to the underground tactics, finding themselves imprisoned under the “debauchery” law that targets sex work.

The documentary also highlights how gangs target vulnerable people on dating apps, filming violent and humiliating videos that they send to the victims’ friends and family.

In one instance, Shihab-Eldin meets with an anonymous victim who featured in one of the viral videos, uncovering a deep chain of blackmail and gang violence.

Laith, another victim featured in the documentary, explained how police threatened to fabricate evidence unless he agreed to be an informant – something which Laith refused to do, resulting in him being charged with “habitual debauchery” (which criminalises regular same-sex practices between men).

While the documentary highlights the discussing mistreatment of the local LGBTQ+ community, it also explores how foreigners are also at risk, showing one victim named Matt, who was lured by police using Grindr before being arrested and eventually deported.

Watch the doco on express below: