Defendant in Egypt Gay Sex Trial Accused of Belonging to Jihad
Agence France-Presse, October 10, 2001
CAIROEgyptian security services have accused the
chief suspect in the case of the 52 Egyptians on trial for practicing gay sex
of belonging to the Islamist terrorist organisation Jihad, his lawyer Farid
al-Dib said Wednesday.
The main accused, Sherif Farhat, "was arrested for contempt of Islam,
and when we protested against his arrest, the security services handed us a
memorandum showing he was an active member of the Jihad movement," Dib
The lawyer made this declaration as another session of the trial was held
Wednesday in Cairos High State Security Court.
He said the memorandum contains a "contradiction", because
belonging to an Islamist movement is not compatible with homosexuality, since
it is banned by Islam.
The verdict is due to be pronounced on November 14.
Jihad has links with Osama bin Laden, the chief suspect in the September 11
terror attacks on the United States. It waged a campaign against the Egyptian
government during the mid-1990s, targetting tourists and other government
Many of the men, most of them in their 20s, were reportedly arrested
following a May 11 evening on the Queen Boat nightclub on the Nile. Several
defendants were arrested elsewhere.
They could be sentenced to three years in prison if found guilty of the
The practice of homosexuality is not explicitly prohibited under Egyptian
law, which is based on Sharia, or Islamic law. But numerous statutes punish
conduct deemed to be an affront to public morality.
The trial opened in mid-July.
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