Last edited: February 14, 2005


Egypt: 5 Suspected Gays Cleared on Appeal

Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network, April 15, 2002

SUMMARY: Five Egyptian men who were sentenced last month to three-year prison terms for suspected homosexual activity had their sentences overturned.

Five men who were sentenced last month to three-year prison terms for suspected homosexual activity had their sentences overturned on Saturday in an Egyptian appeals court.

The ruling took place in Damanhour, the capital of Al-Beheira province. The men, jailed since Jan. 15, have not yet been released, according to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC).

"We are gratified that the Egyptian government is beginning to recognize its human rights obligations," said Scott Long, program director for IGLHRC. "Unfortunately, an unknown number of innocent people remain in prison because of their suspected homosexuality. We must continue the pressure until they are all released."

The men had been convicted on March 11 of habitual "debauchery"a broad charge that includes consensual gay sex. Their sentences of three years with hard labor continued a punitive trend that has alarmed activists worldwide for its harsh treatment of suspected homosexuals.

Last November, 23 of a total 52 suspected gay defendants received similar sentences after a 4-month trial that received widespread media attention.

Reports of brutality and torture of the jailed men have prompted activists and officials to repeatedly denounce Egypt for human rights abuses directed at homosexuals.


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