Last edited: January 07, 2005

Egyptian Court Say Police Will Testify in Gay Sex ‘Boat Party’ Trial UK, September 9, 2002

A Cairo court has ruled that police officers who arrested 50 Egyptians accused of gay sex during a boat party on the Nile will have to testify.

The decision follows a request made by the defence lawyers, asking that the police officers face the court for cross-examination.

Hassan Al Sayess, the presiding judge at the Abdine criminal court in central Cairo, said the three police officers will testify at the next hearing, set for Oct. 12, reported the Jordan Times.

The men, mostly in their 20s, were arrested following a May 11, 2001, evening on the Queen Boat nightclub on the Nile.

Homosexuality is not explicitly prohibited under Egyptian law which is Islamic teachings. Homosexuality, howeverm is seen as an affront to public morality.

In the first trial at a state security court 23 of the men were sentenced to prison last November for between one and two years for gay sex. The other 29 were acquitted.

Following pressure from Western governments President Hosni Mubarak stepped in and cancelled judgements and grant amnesties. He ordered their retrial in May, saying the case did not fall under the jurisdiction of the state security court.

President Mubarak, however, upheld jail terms against the two leading defendants, Sherif Farahat and Mahmud Ahmed Allam, of five and three years respectively after they were accused of “scorning religion.” Farahat was also charged with “sexual practices contrary to Islam.”

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