Egypt Jails Gay Youth
The trial of the other defendants is continuing
September 18, 2001
In a trial that has attracted international attention, an Egyptian court
has sentenced a young man to three years in prison for debauchery. The youth,
reported to be 15 years old, was found guilty of "practising sexual
He is one of 52 men arrested in May during a raid on a floating nightclub
on the Nile. Two of the main defendants are also facing charges of forming an
extremist group and denigrating Islam.
The case has been criticised by human rights groups who said the men were
subjected to examinations to see if they had engaged in homosexual acts.
Although homosexuality is not illegal in Egypt, it is a major cultural and
The young man was tried in a different court because of his age and will
serve his sentence in a prison for young offenders, court officials said.
The trial of the other defendants, in the state security court where
verdicts cannot be appealed, is expected to continue this week. All have
pleaded not guilty.
Their names and some of their addresses have been published in Egyptian
And defence lawyers say the press has already convicted them by publishing
lurid and false accounts of gay orgies on board the boat, where most of the
men were detained.
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