Egypt: Convictions for alleged homosexual conduct
An Egyptian court has jailed 21 men for three years each for practising homosexuality in a retrial after their original sentences were quashed on presidential orders.
The men were arrested in May 2001 at a Cairo nightclub known for being popular with gays, and found guilty in a special security court in November the same year. However President Hosni Mubarak ordered a retrial after the original sentences handed down to the men led to heavy criticism by global human rights activists. The new sentences are longer than those originally imposed, however the men are currently free on bail and, unlike at their previous trial, they can appeal against their sentences. A representative of the US-based Human Rights Watch, Scott Long, told Reuters news agency the sentences were "appalling" and "based on flimsy evidence".
Submitted on Tue, 03/18/2003 - 01:00