HIV Scare in Egypt: Gays Rounded Up, Called "Suspects"

Well, it seems Huckabee's suggestion to quarantine AIDS patients is being somewhat enacted in Egypt. While not specifically referred to in Egypt's legal code, homosexual acts can be punished under laws covering obscenity, prostitution, and habitual debauchery. With this authority, Egyptian police are targeting suspected homosexuals in a campaign to crack down on HIV.

The crackdown all started when two men were arrested in October of 2007 for being involved in a scuffle. One man confessed to being HIV-positive so the two were taken to the "public morality" police branch where they were beaten for refusing to sign statements and subjected to anal examinations to "prove" that they had engaged in homosexual conduct. Police found the numbers and photos of two more men in the suspects' wallets and arrested them as well. All four men remain in custody. Further actions have brought the total amount of HIV suspect arrests to 12.

Gasser Abdel-Razek of Human Rights Watch said, "These cases show Egyptian police acting on the dangerous belief that HIV is not a condition to be treated but a crime to be punished." According to Human Rights Watch, HIV-positive Egyptian males are detained, interrogated about other suspects, undergo physical abuse, chained to hospital beds, and forced to undergo virus related tests. Two of the four newest detainees have tested positive for HIV.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Imagine you've forgotten once again the difference between a gorilla and a chimpanzee, so you do a quick Google image search of “gorilla." But instead of finding images of adorable animals, photos of a Black couple pop up.

Is this just a glitch in the algorithm? Or, is Google an ad company, not an information company, that's replicating the discrimination of the world it operates in? How can this discrimination be addressed and who is accountable for it?

“These platforms are encoded with racism," says UCLA professor and best-selling author of Algorithms of Oppression, Dr. Safiya Noble. “The logic is racist and sexist because it would allow for these kinds of false, misleading, kinds of results to come to the fore…There are unfortunately thousands of examples now of harm that comes from algorithmic discrimination."

On At Liberty this week, Dr. Noble joined us to discuss what she calls “algorithmic oppression," and what needs to be done to end this kind of bias and dismantle systemic racism in software, predictive analytics, search platforms, surveillance systems, and other technologies.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up