Egypt: Free the Cairo 52; Release Teenager in Jail!

SUMMARY

On the night of May 10, 2001, Egyptian State Security police, accompanied by members of the vice squad, raided the Queen Boat discotheque in Cairo. Several men were arrested there, and others in random police pickups during the following days. The official charge is “obscene behavior” but the men are really being held because they are gay.

For the last six months, 52 men have been detained in jail, awaiting sentencing. There have been reports of torture and ill-treatment of at least some of these men while in detention. Others have been subjected to anal examinations to "prove their homosexuality." Names and pictures of the detained men have been published in the Egyptian press in order to embarrass and humiliate them.

It is expected that they will receive the maximum penalty of 3 to 5 years when the verdict is handed down on November 14. A teenager was also charged with "obscene behavior" in the same case. He was tried in a juvenile court because of his age, and was sentenced on September 18 to the maximum penalty allowed by law: three years in prison, followed by three years of probation. Because of his age, he is the only one permitted to appeal.

The Cairo 52 are being tried by an Emergency State Security Court, whose decisions are final. This court does not meet Egypt's international obligations and violates international legal standards for fair trials. Indeed, the trials have been condemned by members of the U.S. Congress, by international human rights organizations, and by the United Nations.

CALL TO ACTION

Urge U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell to make a firm commitment against torture and for human rights and to use U.S. influence with Egypt to call for the release of the Cairo 52 and the sentenced teenager.

Urge Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to immediately release the Cairo 52 and the sentenced teenager.

You are encouraged to fax them and/or email with a note in your words. Alternatively you can use the sample letters provided.

Working Assets' Act For Change allows you to send your note to U.S. Secretary Powell from their website at http://www.workingforchange.com/activism/action.cfm?itemid=12305

SAMPLE LETTER TO U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE COLIN POWELL

Secretary of State Colin L. Powell
U.S. Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20520
United States
Fax: 202-261-8577
Email: Secretary@state.gov

Dear Secretary Powell,

On the night of May 10/11, 2001, State Security police, accompanied by members of the vice squad, raided the Queen Boat discotheque in Cairo, Egypt. Some men were arrested there, others in random police pickups during the following days; all were presumed to be homosexuals. 52 men remain in jail, charged with "obscene behavior." Two of the detainees have also been charged with "contempt of religion." There are enough irregularities in the arrests and handling of this case to suggest that the Cairo 52 may have been framed.

Yet the 52 remain in jail. There have been reports of torture and ill-treatment of at least some of these men while in detention. Others were subjected to anal examinations to "prove their homosexuality." Names and pictures of the detained men have been published in the Egyptian press in order to embarrass and humiliate them.

All 52 men are being tried by an Emergency State Security Court which does not meet Egypt’s international obligations and violates international legal standards for fair trials. A sentence is expected on November 14. Sentences issued by the Emergency State Security Court cannot be appealed. We need your help now!!!

In addition to the Cairo 52, a teenager was also charged with "obscene behavior" in the same case. He was tried in a juvenile court because of his age, and was sentenced on September 18 to the maximum penalty allowed by law: three years in prison, to be followed by three years of probation. Because of his age, he is the only one permitted to appeal.

Secretary Powell, please use US influence with Egypt to call for the release of the Cairo 52 and the sentenced teenager. These trials have been condemned by members of the US Congress, by international human rights organizations, and by the United Nations.

Egypt is the second largest recipient of US aid. Mr. Powell, please make a firm commitment against torture and for human rights.

For more information on the Cairo 52, go to http://www.iglhrc.org/world/africa/Egypt2001Oct.html and http://www.amnestyusa.org/outfront

Sincerely,


SAMPLE LETTER TO EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT HOSNI MUBARAK

His Excellency, President Mohammad Hosni Mubarak
President of the Arab Republic of Egypt
'Abedine Palace, Cairo, Egypt
Fax: + 20 2 390 1998, 20 2 260-5417 , 20 2 355-5700, 20 2 795 3192 or 20 2 795 8016
TELEX 091 93794 wazra un
E-mail: webmaster@presidency.gov.eg

Your excellency,

On the night of May 10/11, 2001, State Security police, accompanied by members of the vice squad, raided the Queen Boat discotheque in Cairo, Egypt. Some men were arrested there, others in random police pickups during the following days; all were presumed to be homosexuals. 52 men remain in jail, charged with "obscene behavior." Two of the detainees have also been charged with "contempt of religion." There are enough irregularities in the arrests and handling of this case to suggest that the Cairo 52 may have been framed.

Yet the 52 remain in jail. There have been reports of torture and ill-treatment of at least some of these men while in detention. Others were subjected to anal examinations to "prove their homosexuality." Names and pictures of the detained men have been published in the Egyptian press in order to embarrass and humiliate them.

All 52 men are being tried by an Emergency State Security Court which does not meet Egypt’s international obligations and violates international legal standards for fair trials. A sentence is expected on November 14. Sentences issued by the Emergency State Security Court cannot be appealed. We need your help now!!!

In addition to the Cairo 52, a teenager was also charged with "obscene behavior" in the same case. He was tried in a juvenile court because of his age, and was sentenced on September 18 to the maximum penalty allowed by law: three years in prison, to be followed by three years of probation. Because of his age, he is the only one permitted to appeal.

Please take action to immediately release the Cairo 52 and the sentenced teenager. These trials have been condemned by international human rights organizations and by the United Nations. Egypt's reputation is at stake. Please make a firm commitment against torture and for human rights.

For more information on the Cairo 52, go to http://www.iglhrc.org/world/africa/Egypt2001Oct.html and http://www.amnestyusa.org/outfront

Sincerely,

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For more information on the Cairo 52, go to http://www.iglhrc.org/world/africa/Egypt2001Oct.html and http://www.amnestyusa.org/outfront

ACTION ALERT SPONSORED BY:

Al-Fatiha Foundation
P.O. Box 33532
Washington, D.C. 20033
USA
ph: +1-212/752-3188
gaymuslims@yahoo.com
http://www.al-fatiha.net
Amnesty International
OUTfront Program
322 8th Avenue
New York, NY 10001
USA
ph: +1-212/807-8400 or +1-212/633-4281
aherrera@aiusa.org
http://www.amnestyusa.org/outfront
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC)
1360 Mission Street, Suite 200
San Francisco, CA 94103
ph: +1-212/255-8680
fx: +1-212/255-8662
iglhrc@iglhrc.org
http://www.iglhrc.org

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