Last edited: February 14, 2005

Blairs Holiday in Egypt Despite Queer Crackdown

British Prime Minister Accused of Turning a Blind Eye to Human Rights

QueerCompany, December 31, 2001

Tony Blair has enraged Egyptian queer activists by taking his family on a private holiday to Egypt.

The country has recently been at the centre of international attention following a series of arrests of men accused of being gay, as well as the torture and imprisonment of a teenage boy.

In November, 23 men were jailed with hard labour for their alleged sexual orientation and/or their views on sexual freedom.

The PM and his family flew to Cairo on Boxing Day, to the delight of the country’s tourism authority.

Samia Khafaga, director of the London embassy’s tourist office, said: "It is a very good advert for the country.

"To have such a dignitary visit our country is very effective for tourism."

Not so delighted is the gay website which has continually strived to publicise the abuse of gays in Egypt.

The site writes: "At his party’s last annual conference, Britain’s Prime Minister Tony Blair declared that from now on human rights would be right at the centre of British foreign policy.

"Now it seems he and his family have chosen to go on a secret holiday to Egypt despite the calls from human rights groups for tourists to boycott the country following the hard labour sentences imposed on dozens of Egyptian men for the alleged homosexuality."

—Rebecca Sandles

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