The first of these raids was at a Cairo boat party, where all the Egyptian gay men, fifty-two, were arrested and charged with violating these vague public morality laws.The "Cairo 52" were arrested and tried on the original Prostitution and Debauchery law, as well as the newer Public Order and Public Morality code.This crackdown also saw the "Public Order and Public Morals" code being increasingly used to criminalize the sexuality of gay and bisexual men.

The incident became a media sensation, promoting various public figures to view homosexuality as a product of Western decadence and demand that the government execute homosexuals or send them to mental institutions to be reformed.

Within a year, the Egyptian government began a public crackdown on Egyptian gay men by raiding private parties, arresting the guests and charging them under the Prostitution and Debauchery law.

The Cairo 52 were defended by international human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International.

However, they had no organized internal support, pleaded innocent, and were tried under the state security courts.

On 24 September 2003, police set up checkpoints at both sides of the Qasr al-Nil Bridge, which spans the Nile in downtown Cairo and is a popular place for adult men to meet other men for sex, arrested 62 men for homosexuality.

In 2009, Al Balagh Al Gadid, a weekly Egyptian newspaper was banned, and two of its reporters were jailed for printing a news article that accused high profile Egyptian actors Nour El Sherif, Khaled Aboul Naga and Hamdi El Wazir of being involved in a homosexual prostitution sex ring and in bribing government agents to cover up their involvement.

Members of the German parliament and the French President called upon the Egyptian government to respect the human rights of its LGBT citizens.

More men have been arrested in various raids on homosexuals, although foreigners tend to be released quickly.

The law against prostitution also bans "debauchery", even if the act did not involve trafficking or prostitution.