Last edited: February 14, 2005

Egypt: Teenager Released from Jail After His Sentence Is Reduced on Appeal

New Hope for Remaining Men In Prison Because of Presumed Homosexuality

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, December 19, 2001
1360 Mission Street, Suite 200, San Francisco, CA 94103 USA
Tel. 1.415.255.8680, Fax. 1.415.255.8662

SAN FRANCISCO—Egyptian courts have reduced on appeal the sentence of a teenager, convicted of "the habitual practice of debauchery" because of his presumed homosexuality, to six months jail and six months probation. Jailed over six months ago in May, Mahmoud was released from jail to serve his probation.

"This is a tremendous victory for Mahmoud and his family," said Scott Long, Program Director at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC). "Maybe the Egyptian government is starting to get the message that the arrest and torture of people for their presumed homosexuality must stop."

Mahmoud was delighted to be released, but remains concerned about the terms of his probation. He joined his family, who was present at the hearing today, and plans to go back home to his village.

After his arrest May 10, Mahmoud was convicted September 18 by the Cairo Juvenile Court and sentenced to the maximum penalty allowed by law: three years in jail and three years probation. His case was riddled with irregularities and allegations of torture. No reason was given by the court today for the reduction of his sentence on appeal.

"We still have 23 men serving hard labor sentences, and at least 4 more arrested and in detention since early November," added Mr. Long. "We need to keep up our pressure."

The 23 men are part of the Cairo 52 group, sentenced November 14 by an Emergency State Security Court to one to five years of hard labor. These sentences cannot be appealed, but they can be overturned by the direct intervention of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Despite international pleas, the Egyptian government has refused so far to pardon them. (See background information below).

IGLHRC is a US-based non-profit, non-governmental organization that works to protect and advance the human rights of all people and communities subject to discrimination or abuse on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status.

To access the IGLHRC web site please visit

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