Egypt Police Arrest 13 Suspected Gay Men
U.K., February 26, 2003
SUMMARY: Police in Cairo arrested 13 men in an
apartment last week for alleged homosexual activities, an anonymous security
official told the Associated Press on Tuesday.
Police in Cairo arrested 13 men in an apartment last week
for alleged homosexual activities, an anonymous security official told the
Associated Press on Tuesday.
The suspects have been jailed pending further
investigation. Prosecutors will decide on Saturday whether to extend their
detention or formally charge them with debauchery and homosexuality.
Opposition newspaper Wafd said that the arrested men
included university students and hotel employees. The detainees did not deny
that they are homosexuals, the report said.
While homosexuality is not explicitly referred to in
Egyptian law, the laws covering obscenity, prostitution and debauchery are
used in the prosecution of gay men. In the last two years, dozens of suspected
homosexuals have been detained and convicted.
In the largest case, 52 suspected gay men were arrested
from a floating nightclub on the Nile River in November 2001. The country’s
emergency court sentenced 23 of the defendants to two years in prison, and the
two suspected leaders were sentenced to three and five years in prison. The
other 29 were acquitted. Later, the government tossed out all of the verdicts,
except for the two leaders, and the 50 men are currently on retrial.
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