Activists Slam Bush Administration During Mubarak Visit
Demand the U.S. Condemn Repression of Homosexuals in
March 5, 2002
For Immediate Release
For additional information, contact:
Faisal Alam, Al-Fatiha +1-202-223-3738, email@example.com
Sharon Burke, Amnesty International, +1-202-544-0200, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sydney Levy, IGLHRC, +1-415-577-8680 (cell), email@example.com
WASHINGTON DC—Gay and human
rights activists criticized the Bush Administration today for failing to raise
human rights concerns with President Mubarak during his March 4-5 visit to the
“Our President met with the Egyptian President on the
very day that the State Department released a devastating report about
Egypt’s human rights record,” said Sharon Burke of Amnesty International
USA, “And yet the issue apparently never even came up.”
Yesterday, the U.S. State Department released its annual
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2001. The report acknowledges
the “Cairo 52” case, in which last November an Egyptian State Security
Emergency court sentenced 23 allegedly homosexual men to prison terms ranging
from one to five years.
“We have documented a growing pattern of arrests and
sham trials in Egypt, of people suspected of homosexuality,” stated Scott
Long, Program Director at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights
Commission (IGLHRC). “At the same time, the United States government has
rewarded Egypt with a multi-billion dollar aid package. How will our
government now translate its own human rights report into action?”
Long noted that March 4th was also the opening day of a
trial of five allegedly gay men in the provincial city of Damanhour. The five
men may face three years imprisonment for alleged consensual homosexual
conduct. The Damanhour trial comes after a year marked by brutal arrests,
allegations of torture, hard labor sentences and sensationalized trials of
suspected homosexuals in Egypt.
“We will be leafleting on March 5th in front of the
Ritz Carlton, where President Mubarak will be speaking, in order to highlight
the human rights abuses committed by the Egyptian government,” stated Faisal
Alam, director of Al-Fatiha, a group of Muslim lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgender (LGBT) people.
“President Mubarak needs to know that his policies of
persecuting homosexuals will not go unchallenged,” noted Alam.
Information on the leafleting:
WHAT: Leafleting President Mubarak’s luncheon at the
Council on Foreign Relations, in order to highlight human rights abuses
against presumed homosexuals in Egypt. Copies of the U.S. State Department
report on human rights in Egypt as well as other materials documenting the
persecution of homosexuals in Egypt will be distributed as well.
WHO: Representatives of Amnesty International and Al-Fatiha.
WHEN: Tuesday, March 5, 10:30 AM—11:30 AM
WHERE: Ritz Carlton Hotel, 1150 22nd Street, NW
(Between L and M), Washington DC
For IGLHRC’s updated action alert, see http://www.iglhrc.org/world/africa/Egypt2002Mar.html
For background information on the US support of Egypt and
for detailed information on all known cases of persecution of homosexuals, see
For specific information in the Damanhour trials, see http://www.iglhrc.org/news/press/pr_020212.html.
The first court hearing on this case took place March 4, where only five of
the defendants were present. The case was adjourned until March 11.
Al-Fatiha is an international organization dedicated to
Muslims who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) and
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.
Amnesty International is a worldwide grassroots movement
that promotes and defends human rights. www.amnestyusa.org
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