November 19, 2001
By Jon ben Asher
SUMMARY: Amnesty International is telling U.S. President George W. Bush
he’s doing the talk but not doing the walk.
Amnesty International is telling U.S. President George W. Bush he’s doing
the talk but not doing the walk.
Amnesty says it is time Bush condemned Egypt for its treatment of gays. It
accuses him of talking about democracy while embracing states which torture
gays. The rights group particularly wants the president to speak out on the
convictions of 23 gay men to prison terms with hard labor.
The 23 were among 52 arrested in May in a gay riverboat club in Cairo. The
remaining 29 were found not guilty of "crimes against Islam" after
spending months in jail awaiting trial.
In a statement, Amnesty said, "The arrest and prosecution of these 52
men was a violation of their rights, and the jail sentences now faced by 23 of
them only underscores the severity of Egypt’s persecution of gays and
Amnesty Friday joined the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights
Commission in accusing Egypt of continuing to arrest gay men.
Sharon Burke, Amnesty’s advocacy director in New York, said: "The
Bush administration has a responsibility and an opportunity to stress the high
cost of repression."
The Canadian Foreign Affairs Ministry said it was concerned about the
trial. A Canadian diplomat from the embassy in Cairo had been assigned to
monitor the trial.
In Paris, a French Foreign Ministry spokesman said France would continue to
follow the case closely.
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