Last edited: February 14, 2005

Egyptians in Nightclub Case Charged with Sodomy

Reuters, June 28, 2001

CAIRO — Fifty-two men detained in May after a police raid on a nightclub on the Nile have been charged with sodomy and religious crimes, the state prosecutor said on Thursday.

"(The files of the) 52 men were transferred to a state security court in connection with charges of abusing religion to spread extremist ideas verbally and in writing...and practising sodomy," Prosecutor General Maher Abdel-Wahid told reporters.

Abdel-Wahid said three photographers who had also been arrested in the raid were set free.

Police said they had been watching the group for some time and had compiled a file on their practices before the nocturnal raid on the Queen Boat, known locally as a popular gay venue, on May 9.

The defendants were also charged with distorting the Koran, causing offence to monotheistic faiths, immoral practices and praying in a manner which contradicts proper practice, Abdel-Wahid said.

Two of the men were additionally charged with being "ringleaders and masterminds" of the group, he added.

The charges carry a maximum total sentence of five years’ imprisonment, court sources said.

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