Euro Parliament Protests Egypt Crackdown
Data Lounge, April 11, 2003
Parliament on Thursday approved an urgent resolution urging the Egyptian
government to end its persecution of gay citizens and called for the immediate
release of prisoners sentenced in connection with the Queen Boat trial.
This is the fourth such resolution adopted by European
ministers since June 2001.
The resolution reminds Egypt that the EU-Egypt
Association Agreement signed in November 2001 urges adherence to basic human
rights norms, including the call for government leaders in Cairo to “refrain
from sanction against the private sexual relations between consenting
The resolution condemned new efforts undertaken by the
Egyptian authorities in recent months to step up persecution of people based
on their sexual orientation and called on officials to end their campaign of
violence against the community. Amnesty International, meanwhile, issued an
urgent global appeal on behalf of a 26-year-old man who was sentenced by a
Cairo court to a 15 month jail term after arranging a date with another man
Wassim Tawfiq Abyad was convicted of “habitual
debauchery” after replying to a personals ad on the UK based website and
arranging a meeting. It is believed the man who placed the ad was a police
informant. Email and webchat conversations exchanged between the two men on
were used as evidence against Wissam in court.
Amnesty International said Thursday it is very concerned
that the Egyptian authorities are pursuing a policy of internet entrapment to
persecute gay men.
Nora Cranston who works on gay issues for Amnesty said,
“The Egyptian government must receive a clear message from people all over
the world that persecution of people for their sexual orientation is
unacceptable, and that internet entrapment is a clear violation of fundamental
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