According to two international human rights groups, Egyptian police have allegedly arrested four more men suspected to be HIV positive and gay, reports the Associated Press (AP)/ (, 2/26).

Earlier this year, police arrested four men for “habitual practice of debauchery"—a term used in the Egyptian legal system to describe homosexual acts, reports the AP. The men were sentenced to a year in prison.

New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) and London-based Amnesty International issued a joint statement saying that the arrests are unjust. The groups also said the arrests could hinder prevention efforts by causing people to become afraid to seek HIV/AIDS information, prevention and treatment.

“In their misguided attempt to apply Egypt’s unjust law on homosexual conduct, authorities are carrying on a crackdown against people living with HIV/AIDS,” said Rebecca Schleifer of the HRW. “This not only violates the most basic rights of people living with HIV. It also threatens public health, by making it dangerous for anyone to seek information about HIV prevention or treatment.”

According to the HRW and Amnesty International, the new arrests came from information coerced from four men already in custody, reports the AP. The groups also say that the arrested men were forcibly tested for HIV, and those who tested positive are being chained to their hospital beds.