Last edited: January 03, 2005

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) Letter to President Hosni Mubarak

March 12, 2003

His Excellency Muhammad Hosni Mubarak
Office of the President
Al Etehadia Building
Heliobolis Cairo, Egypt

Dear President Mubarak:

I write concerning recent, disturbing reports about the continued entrapment, arrest and conviction of gay men in Egypt solely for engaging in private, consensual sexual relations. One specific case involves a man named Wissam Toufic Abyad who was arrested earlier this year in Cairo after being lured to a meeting by a police officer posing as a gay man over the Internet. I had been encouraged in the past when the appeals courts had overturned such cases, and I’m very concerned that a recent appeal of Mr. Abyad’s case was not favorable. I hope that any future court decisions will not act against Mr. Abyad or others like him who have been sought out by the police and imprisoned.

As you know, last year many of my colleagues in the House of Representatives joined a number of efforts speaking out against the persecution of gay men in Egypt. And the recent omnibus spending bill that passed Congress—which, among other things, included $200 million of aid to Egypt—also included report language expressing concern about the human rights situation in Egypt, specifically citing restrictions on freedom of  expression and impediments to the development of democracy and the rule of law.

I also understand that the United States Agency for International Development is helping to fund projects in Egypt for the development of Internet infrastructure, including web development, information technology, and computer equipment, and I should tell you that if gay men continue to be entrapped and imprisoned through the use of the Internet and in other ways, this may undermine congressional support for this and other kinds of international aid.

I sincerely hope that your government will take steps to halt this harsh campaign against the consensual private sexual relations of individuals who are doing no harm to others.

Barney Frank

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