Last edited: February 14, 2005

Gay.Com Urges Foreign Office to Warn of Risks to Gay Travellers to Egypt

Online Partners/Gay.Com, August 22, 2001 News Release, Britain’s leading gay internet company, is organising an online petition at calling on the Foreign Office to warn British travellers to Egypt following the arrest of 52 men at a party at the Queen Boat restaurant on the Nile at Zamalek in May. They were charged with gay sex offences.

The men are due to appear at a closed court on August 29 in Cairo and could face three-year prison terms; their families have been barred from attending. The trial has prompted international protests and a call by Amnesty International for a tourist boycott of Egypt. Fifty of the men are charged with ‘practicing debauchery with men’. The remaining two, deemed by the Egyptian Attorney General Maher Abdel Whahid to have been the leaders of the group, have been charged with ‘exploiting the Islamic religion to spread extremist ideas’ and practicing gay sex ‘as part of the group’s rituals . with the aim of insulting the heavenly religions and sparking civil strife.’

The Queen Boat is a popular tourist restaurant.’s Mark Watson said: ‘There have been protests outside the Egyptian Embassies in ten cities in the US, Canada, Germany, Australia and France, and outside the UN Commission for Human Rights in Geneva. However, the British Foreign Office has yet to offer updated travel advice to gay UK travellers visiting Egypt. We understand that Europeans were arrested at the same time as the 52 Egyptians but were released after questioning. Gay groups in Cairo are urging gay tourists not to visit the country. ‘We are calling on the Foreign Office to update its travel advice notice for Egypt. We are also launching an online petition targeting our 270,000 users in the UK, to the Minister of State with responsibility for the Middle East, Ben Bradshaw, asking him to express the British Government’s concern over the continued detention and closed trial of these men.’


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