Egyptian Court Reduces Gay Sex Sentences
U.K., June 5, 2003
An appeals court in Egypt has reduced the sentences of
four men convicted of charges stemming from a May 2001 raid on a Nile boat
The four were among 52 men arrested in a May 2001 police
raid on a Nile boat restaurant on suspicion they had taken part in a gay sex
party. 29 were acquitted, and a further 16 appealed and were released pending
Twelve men, who had also been initially sentenced to
three years imprisonment, lost their appeals on Wednesday because they did not
attend the hearing. Another five did not appear at the hearing and will be
retried if arrested.
Another two men had been sentenced to five and three
years respectively on charges of contempt of religion and misinterpreting the
Islamic holy book, the Qur’an.
Homosexuality is met with zero tolerance in Egypt. While
not explicitly referred to in the country’s laws, a wide range of laws
covering obscenity, prostitution and public morality are punishable by jail
terms and used to persecute gay men.
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