Defense of Egypt 52 Continue
The following report was sent in by an anonymous contact in Egypt, October
Today, Wednesday October 10, 2001, the trial of the 52 men accused of deriding
religion and committing immoral acts started at 3:15 and finished at
6:30. The Judge listened to the defenses of the lawyers of the detainees from
As in the last trial, on the 3rd of October, all the lawyers asserted that
the cases should be thrown out on the grounds that proper arrest procedures
were not followed, that the arrests were made completely at random with no
prior investigations, and that the charges had been fabricated after the
arrests. As evidence of this, they pointed out that 4 of the defendants had
given false names and addresses to the police, and the investigation
reports that were cooked later stated that the subjects (with the false
names) had been under police surveillance for a while, at those false
addresses! These 4 defendants stated their real names and addresses in the
courtroom, after which the prosecution asked that the names be changed on the
pretext that these false names were really their aliases! However, the
prosecution was unable to explain the matter of the false addresses that had
allegedly been under surveillance.
One of the young lawyers, Fawzy El Haggan, dropped a bombshell at the end
of the hearing by quoting a case with exactly the same details, fabricated for
150 people at almost exactly the same time last year, 25 May 2000, by the same
team of arresting officers, led by Taha el Embaby, the prime mover in the
case. May is the last month for evaluation of officers records, as June is
the month when the official reports on officers performance come out. The
150 case was thrown out by a judge in a civil court on 27/7/2000 for the lack
of any evidence except the officers statementsthe same as in this case.
El Haggan also presented photocopies of 6 case-files from the previous case.
In addition, concerning the forensic examination of the men which
purportedly proved that many of them had engaged in immoral acts
(a euphemism for anal sex), El Haggan presented a report stating that there
are more than 400 errors in forensics department reports annually, and that
both the Cairo and Alexandria forensics departments were officially
investigated because of this high rate of error on 23/8/2001, only a few days
after the reports on this case were written.
Some lawyers are optimistic, since it became very clear before the judge
that the case is completely fabricated, and that the defendants were arrested
for a reason other than contempt of religion or practicing debauchery: mainly
because of their sexual orientation, although this is not admitted by either
the defendants or their lawyers. But most of the lawyers believe that at least
some will receive sentences, at least Sherif, the so-called head of the
organization, and some of the men with whom he confessed to having sex.
However, all concurred that these speculations are dependent on the integrity
of the Judge, and that his judgment does not turn out to be manipulated by a
phone call from the people who fabricated the case in the first place, or
perhaps from even higher up.
At the end of the hearing, the judge adjourned the court until 14 November
2001, at which time the verdict will be announced. This verdict, when it is
announced, will not be subject to appeal.
The minor sentenced to 3 years imprisonment, plus 3 on probation, has
appealed his case. The next hearing, also before a juvenile court, will be on
31 October 2001.
There are reports among Cairos gay community that arrests are
continuing, including an unspecified number of men arrested in Heliopolis, a
suburb of Cairo, and 15 others arrested at a friendly gathering at the home of
one of them in Haram, another suburb of Cairo. Although this information comes
from reliable sources, the government has placed a complete media blackout on
this news. There has been no mention of this whatsoever in the Egyptian media.
It seems clear that the Egyptian government has learnt its lesson from the
Cairo 52 case; since such unattractive actions as arbitrary arrests and
trumped-up charges, if leaked, endanger its reputation among the international
community, the best course is to go on doing them, in complete secrecy.
For more information on the Egypt case please visit:
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
Amnesty International USA OUTfront Program
Al-Fatiha is an international organization for Muslims who are lesbian,
gay, bisexual, transgendered, questioning & their friends! For more info: http://www.al-fatiha.net
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