Last edited: February 14, 2005

Five Egyptian Gays Sentenced

Associated Press, March 11, 2002

CAIRO, Egypt (AP)—Five Egyptian men were sentenced Monday to three years in prison with hard labor for engaging in gay sex, judicial officials said.

The men had pleaded guilty to debauchery and running a house for gay sex parties. The Nile Delta Misdemeanor Court handed down their sentence, which also includes three years of probation.

Islam prohibits homosexuality and, although not explicitly referred to in the Egyptian penal code, a wide range of laws covering obscenity, prostitution and debauchery are applied to homosexuals.

Gay cases have shocked conservative Egypt, while prompting international attention and support from gay rights activists.

Last year in Cairo, 52 men were tried by an Emergency State Security Court on charges of immoral behavior and contempt of religion after police raided a Nile boat restaurant and accused them of taking part in a gay sex party. Twenty-three were convicted and sentenced to up to five years in prison. The rest were acquitted.

The identities of those convicted Monday were not revealed.

Officials said the group included two government employees who used to invite gay youth to their house in Damanhur, about 90 miles northwest of Cairo, for sex parties.

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