Egypt: 'Boulak 4' sentenced to three years in prison

On February 3, 2002, a court in Boulak-al-Dakrour (in Giza, a suburb of Cairo) convicted four men for consensual homosexual behavior. A judge sentenced each to three years in prison with three years' probation to follow. Days later, Europe and the United States gave Egypt billions of dollars to keep such courts, police, and prisons running.
The "Boulak 4" had been arrested on November 10, 2001. The Egyptian press announced the arrests on November 15, the morning after verdicts were handed down in the "Cairo 52" trial--in an apparent signal that State pursuit of suspected homosexuals would be unrelenting. That day, an IGLHRC representative was able to speak to one of the men through the bars of a police wagon at the Public Prosecutor's Office in Boulak. The prisoner told how all four had been beaten and ill-treated during interrogations. The four men have been jailed since their arrest. The February 3 session was the only full hearing in the case. Prosecutors called no witnesses and submitted virtually no evidence. Other hearings had been aborted because the prosecution failed to summon the accused from prison. The judge had earlier described the defendants in abusive language.
Persecution for suspected homosexual conduct continues in Egypt. At least eight men now face trial in Damanhour, capital of Al-Beheira province; the Egyptian press has already described them as the "Beheira Perverts' Organization." IGLHRC has also learned of seven men who were arrested and tortured for alleged homosexual conduct after a September 2001 police raid on a birthday party in Haram, a Cairo suburb. More information on these cases can be found below. IGLHRC is alarmed not only by the pattern of persecution, but by other governments' unconcern--a malign neglect almost amounting to tacit approval. Barely two weeks after the Cairo 52 verdicts, the European Union approved a new trade agreement with Egypt, brushing aside human rights concerns. Three days after the Boulak verdict, the United States and the European Union, joined by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, pledged over $10 billion in aid to Egypt.
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International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
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International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission