Egyptian Court Sends Five Men to Prison for Homosexual Acts in Case Condemned by Rights Groups
April 10, 2008
In Egypt on Wednesday, five men were convicted on charges of homosexual behavior and sentenced to three years in prison in what dozens of human rights groups say is a crackdown on people with HIV/AIDS. Four of the five men tested HIV-positive after all were forced to undergo blood tests in custody, said New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW).
The defense lawyer for the five men convicted Wednesday, Adel Ramadan, said they were found guilty of the "habitual practice of debauchery," a term used in the Egyptian legal system to imply consensual homosexual acts. The country's legal code does not explicitly refer to homosexuality, though a wide range of laws covering obscenity, prostitution, and debauchery are used to prosecute homosexuals.
Ramadan said the five men were abused and tortured over previous months to "extract confessions" from them. In addition to prison time, the men were sentenced to an additional three years of police supervision, meaning they will have to remain in a police station from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. every night, he said.
Ramadan said he has appealed the verdict to the country's highest appellate court, the Court of Cassation.
04.09.2008; Maggie Michael
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.