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Published On: Mon, Nov 27th, 2017

Egyptian court jailed 14 men for homosexuality and abnormal sexual relations

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nsnbc : An Egyptian court, on November 26, 2017, sentenced 14 men convicted of being homosexuals to three years in jail each for “abnormal” sexual relations. Defense lawyer Ishaq Wadie said the men were released on bail of 5,000 Egyptian pounds ($283, 230 euros) each until an appeals trial. The trial of three other suspects was delayed over procedural reasons, the lawyer said.

Egypt_Homosexuality_(archives)Homosexuality is not expressly outlawed in Egypt. However, courts in the country where laws and codes as well as conventions are strongly influenced by religious doctrin and religious organizations, homosexual men have previously been charged with debauchery. In recent months, authorities have cracked down on people who practice so-called “abnormal” sexual relations, which in Egypt means homosexuality, or for inciting debauchery.

Egypt has long been divided between forces aiming to secularize the country’s political and legal system and others who would rather see the introduction of Muslim conservative rule. Ironically, religion experienced a survival after the so-called “Arab Spring” in 2011.

The stepped-up measures follow an outdoor concert in Cairo on September 22 by Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila, when the flag representing the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community was raised. Apparently the “guiding principle” is “stay in the closet or go to jail”. Thirty-one people have been arrested since the show, 10 directly linked with the event, according to judicial and security officials.

London-based rights watchdog Amnesty International said the number was more than 70 people, some of whom had been subjected to anal examinations. On November 9, Amnesty condemned a draft bill in the Egyptian parliament that would criminalize homosexuality. The bill lays jail terms of between one and three years for first time offenders, whether the act takes place in public or a private place. Repeat offenders would receive five years.

“This deeply discriminatory bill would be a huge setback for human rights and another nail in the coffin for sexual rights in Egypt,” said Najia Bounaim, North Africa campaigns director at Amnesty.

F/AK – nsnbc 27.11.2017

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