Green Party Protests against Treatment of Egyptian Gays
Independent, May 20, 2003
Standard House, Birkirkara Hill, St. Julians STJ09 Malta
Alternattiva Demokratika has spoken out in support of The
Malta Gay Rights Movement and Amnesty International (Malta) campaign to stop
the detention, persecution and torture of Egyptian gays.
AD has written to Egyptian ambassador Fatima El Zahraa
and Maltese Foreign Minister Joe Borg in support of gay people in Egypt.
Greens spokesman James Debono has written to the
ambassador requesting her to urge the immediate and unconditional release of a
number of Egyptians imprisoned on the grounds of actual or perceived sexual
Two years ago the police raided an Egyptian gay club
where around 60 men were arrested—23 of these men were sentenced to prison
terms of between one and five years.
However following international protests, a retrial was
held last March, and 29 men were acquitted. However, 21 people were again
convicted, receiving harsher sentences of imprisonment together with forced
labour. Since then, the Egyptian police have arrested and interrogated many
individuals suspected of being homosexual.
Mr Debono wrote in his letters: “Human rights are
universal and should be respected everywhere. There is no place in the
civilised world for homophobic repression.”
AD has also called on the Maltese government to add to
the pressure on the Egyptian authorities to respect human rights, and in the
letter to Dr Borg Mr Debono said: “AD encourages the Maltese government to
protest officially to the Egyptian government on the continued detention,
persecution and torture of Egyptian gays. We encourage the Maltese government
to call for the immediate and unconditional release of all those imprisoned on
the grounds of actual or perceived sexual orientation.”
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