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Queer Not in the Army: A Study and Guide on Conscription’s Exemptions Based on LGBTQ+ Related Reasons in Egypt 

Every year, many Queer people across Egypt are faced with a heavy burden; applying for the nation’s compulsory military service, and every year Queer people ask themselves and their friends how can they avoid this service. Egypt’s military law has provided for several conditions upon which a person can be exempted from doing military service and out of our belief that laws and bylaws should be accessible and understandable by the public, we have conducted this study to provide an overview of the legal conditions that may assist Queer people in Egypt to receive their military service exemptions.

For this study, we have conducted interviews with multiple people who managed to receive their military service exemption due to their gender identity, sexual orientation, or their status as a person living with HIV. Moreover, we have conducted an in-depth analysis of the country’s military law, as well as, any available bylaws that outline the conditions of military service exemptions. We understand that the experience is unique to the individual, however, we aim through this study to fill the knowledge gap in this area. Future experiences may differ from current or past ones and we encourage all future Queer applicants to learn from the past and to share their own later in the future.

Disclaimer: Egyptian military laws and bylaws views gender and sexual identity as mental illness and as such the individual is deserving of receiving a medical exemption. We at Cairo 52 condemn this outdated classification and strongly disagree with it. However, since we aim to simplify and share legal knowledge, we will mention the law and the situation as it is in reality.


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