Last edited: January 07, 2005

Men Jailed Over ‘ Gay Sex Party’

Ananova, March 15, 2003

An Egyptian criminal court has sentenced 21 men to three years in jail on charges stemming from a suspected gay sex party.

The case has been condemned by international human rights groups as a persecution of homosexuals.

Officials said another 29 men have been acquitted in the retrial, which began in July following an order by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

The defendants were not in court to hear the verdicts, but their lawyers attended.

The 21 were sentenced to three years in jail on charges of practising debauchery.

The defendants were among 52 men arrested in a May 2001 police raid on a Nile boat restaurant on suspicion that they had taken part in a gay sex party.

The Emergency State Security Court initially sentenced 23 of them in November 2001 to jail terms ranging from one to five years. The rest were acquitted.

Mubarak, in his capacity as Egypt’s military ruler, last May ordered 50 of the men—including the 29 acquitted—to be retried on the debauchery counts before a lower court, annulling the original verdicts because the emergency courts did not have the jurisdiction to hear the charges.

Human rights groups and the international community have denounced the trials and condemned Egypt, where homosexuality is met with zero tolerance.

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