Last edited: February 14, 2005

Al-Fatiha Calls for a Second Day of Action Against Egypt

Al-Fatiha Foundation, November 3, 2001
Press Release

Contact: Faisal Alam
Founder & Director
US Tel. 202-223-3738

Al-Fatiha, an international organization dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and questioning (LGBTQ) Muslims & their friends called for a second day of action against Egypt today—whose government continues to hold 52 men in detention because of their alleged sexual orientation.

The men who have been charged with "immoral behavior" and "contempt for religion" have been in prison for almost six months and have reportedly been tortured while in detention. One of the people arrested was a teenager who was tried separately and has already been convicted and sentenced to three years in prison with a three year probation after he is released. The teenager reportedly confessed to having sex with another male after an interrogation but later recanted his testimony. An anonymous contact in Egypt has notified Al-Fatiha recently that the government of Egypt has continued its campaign to crackdown on the increasingly visible gay community. There have been unconfirmed reports of mass arrests in other major cities in Egypt.

On November 13, the day before the verdict is to be announced in the case of the Cairo 52, Al-Fatiha is calling for a day of action against the government of Egypt. The action includes:

  1. Flooding the Egyptian government with phone calls, faxes, and emails protesting the detention of the men and demanding their immediate and unconditional release.
  2. Voicing concern that Egypt is acting in violation of several international human rights treaties to which it is a party.
  3. Holding a candlelight vigil outside Egyptian embassies or consulates in remembrance of the 52 men detained and the teenager already imprisoned.

"We have not forgotten the Cairo 52 in the wake of the September 11 tragedy," said Faisal Alam, founder and director of Al-Fatiha. "The voices of freedom and justice must be stronger today than ever before."

Members of Al-Fatiha’s chapter in Washington DC in collaboration with OUTfront DC—the local action group of the LGBT Program of Amnesty International are planning a day of action on November 13 in Washington DC, USA which will include a teach-in and candlelight vigil procession to the Egyptian Cultural and Educational Bureau.

The Washington DC teach-in and candlelight vigil has been endorsed by Amnesty International USA. Amnesty International, an international human rights organization has been working extensively on the Egypt case. In addition to meeting with officials of the Egyptian government, Amnesty International has mobilized thousands of individuals to advocate for the release of the 52 men. In addition to writing letters to the Egyptian government members of Amnesty International are sending cards of hope and solidarity to the imprisoned men.

In the next week each of the 52 men will receive 500 cards of hope and solidarity from Amnesty members. Tora Prison (where the men are being detained) will be flooded with at minimum 26,000 cards from Amnesty members.

In acknowledging the tremendous support Al-Fatiha has received from Amnesty International and the OUTfront program, Alam said, "Amnesty International continues to shine brightly with the its candle light of hope."

The last day of the trial of the 52 men where the verdict will be announced is November 14, 2001—the day after the action.

Although the action on November 13 is focused on the Egyptian government, Al-Fatiha noted that the international human rights community will be closely watching the actions of governments around the world. Human rights organizations have already expressed fear that governments including Egypt will use the new "war on terrorism" as an excuse to discriminate against, detain, arrest, and even torture those that are deemed to be "a threat to the state," including members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered community.

The action on November 13 against the government of Egypt is the second such event coordinated by Al-Fatiha. A similar action was held on August 15, 2001 (the first day of the trial of the 52 men). That day Al-Fatiha organized protests in front of Egyptian embassies and consulates in cities around the world. Members of the international community also flooded the Egyptian government with phone calls, emails, and faxes to protest the detention of the men. More than fifty organizations in over fifteen countries endorsed the first call to action on August 15.

Background information on the Egypt case and sample letters to send to the Egyptian government can be found at:

Amnesty International OUTfront Program -
Al-Fatiha Foundation -

Al-Fatiha is an international organization dedicated to Muslims who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, those questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity and their friends. Al-Fatiha, which means "The Opening" or "The Beginning," started in 1998 and has since grown to include nine chapters in three countries (United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom).

To become an Al-Fatiha member go to and click on "Membership Form"

Al-Fatiha Foundation P:O Box 33532 Washington, DC 20033

[Home] [News] [Egypt]