Celebs Demand EU Cuts Aid to Egypt Until Imprisoned Gays are Free
March 18, 2002
Sir Elton John is among a group of celebrities calling on the European
Union to cut aid to Egypt until 23 men imprisoned for being gay are set free.
Michael Cashman, a former actor, and now a member of the European
Parliament said that the EU cut trade and aid ties with the country until the
men, part of a group arrested at a boat party last year, are allowed to go
The "Association Agreement" between the EU and Egypt is subject
to recognition of fundamental human rights—something which Egypt has
breached by its treatment of gays, said Cashman
Cashman is meeting EU officials and the Egyptian ambassador to hand over a
petition which has the support of a number of celebrities, including Sir Elton
John, Sir Anthony Sher, Sir Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, author Margaret
Drabble, comedians Eddie Izzard, Graham Norton, and Maureen Lipman.
Since the "Nile Boat" trial, in which 29 were acquitted and 23
sentenced to hard labour for debauchery, other homosexuals have been arrested
in Egypt, awaiting trial.
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