Egypt sentences 5 men for homosexuality

  • redheaded_dud...

    Posts: 408

    Apr 09, 2008 11:31 PM GMT
    Is there a bright side? Anywhere?

    Egypt sentences 5 men for homosexuality
    By MAGGIE MICHAEL, Associated Press Writer

    An Egyptian court convicted five men Wednesday on charges of homosexual behavior and sentenced them to three years in prison, officials said.

    Defense lawyer, Adel Ramadan, said the judge found the men guilty of the "habitual practice of debauchery" — a term used in the Egyptian legal system to denote consensual homosexual acts.

    The convictions were confirmed by a judicial official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to journalists.

    Homosexuality is not explicitly referred to in Egypt's legal code, but a wide range of laws covering obscenity, prostitution and debauchery are applied to homosexuals in this conservative country.

    The five men were arrested in what human rights groups describe as a crackdown on people with the AIDS virus, using the debauchery charges as a means to prosecute them.

    Four of the five men tested HIV-positive after all were forced to undergo blood tests in custody, Human Rights Watch says. The New York-based rights group issued a statement Tuesday signed by more than 100 other organizations around the world condemning the prosecutions.

    Ramadan, a lawyer with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, said the five men were abused and tortured over the past several months to "extract confessions" from them.

    In addition to their prison time, the men were sentenced to an additional three years of police supervision, meaning they will have to spend every night at a police station, from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., the lawyer said.

    Ramadan said the four HIV-positive defendants were shocked by their convictions.

    "Two of them cried, screamed and shrieked," he said. "The other two, they remained silent, but I saw anger in their eyes for the injustice they have been exposed to."

    Ramadan said he appealed the verdict to Egypt's Court of Cassation, the country's highest appellate court.

    Dozens of human rights groups have criticized this trial and other similar ones as being driven by ignorance and fear of AIDS. They have warned that the convictions could undermine AIDS prevention in Egypt.

    The five convicted Wednesday were among 12 people arrested in a sweep that began in October, when police arrested a man during an altercation with another man on a Cairo street, Human Rights Watch said.

    After one of the men said he was HIV-positive, authorities opened investigations into other men whose names or contact information were uncovered in interrogations of the first group of men, Human Rights Watch said.

    Egyptian police have denied making any arrests because of a person's HIV condition.

    In mid-January, four other HIV-positive men from the group of 12 were sentenced to one-year prison terms on similar charges of debauchery. Three others from the 12 were not prosecuted, Human Rights Watch said.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 10, 2008 5:37 AM GMT
    There are so many countries like Egypt around the Globe and its Sad!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 10, 2008 7:20 AM GMT
    To think that this was an Egyptian production...
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    Apr 10, 2008 12:27 PM GMT
    After this, every one in Egypt will be too afraid to disclose HIV status.

    icon_mad.gif Crap. I hate this world sometimes...
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Apr 10, 2008 12:30 PM GMT
    After reading this, it makes you wonder about the word "progress" or "progressive nature". How very sad.
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    Apr 10, 2008 12:31 PM GMT
    In some countries they would get the death sentence (Saudi Arabia, Iran are two I can think of).

    One of the most troubling aspects of today's world is the increasing gulf between modern secular countries and more traditional and conservative countries. It is really shocking to realize how differently you can be treated based on where you live.
  • iHavok

    Posts: 1477

    Apr 10, 2008 12:37 PM GMT
    A bright side?

    In general, I don't find arabs to be very attractive...

    Just kidding.


    I'm morally bankrupt, which is how i can joke at just a terrible atrocity.
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    Apr 10, 2008 12:53 PM GMT

    I'm morally bankrupt, which is how i can joke at just a terrible atrocity.[/quote]

    I have the same prob as you buddy. icon_rolleyes.gif

    This is no joke though. There is no way that the world can move forward in combatting HIV and AIDS when governments allow these human rights violations to take place.

    Soon we'll have alleged witches burning at the stake again. (metaphorically speaking) How scary is the thought of reliving the Spanish Inquisition. Scary shit bros...
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    Apr 10, 2008 1:02 PM GMT
    A bright side?

    They got three years in prison, and not sentenced to death as they would have in Iran.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 10, 2008 1:21 PM GMT
    Oh Lord, I guess I needed a good cry, this morning. Thanks for posting the video, Zimatar.
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    Apr 10, 2008 1:25 PM GMT
    Walk like an Egyptian. So simple, a caveman could do it.
  • redheaded_dud...

    Posts: 408

    Apr 10, 2008 1:50 PM GMT
    Selfish though this may be, a bright side: I live in tolerant Texas and not intolerant Egypt.
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    Apr 10, 2008 2:44 PM GMT

    It sounds to me like Egypt is needing a more effective safe sex campaign not needing to throw men with AIDS in jail.

    Hot, Safe Sex

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    Apr 10, 2008 2:57 PM GMT
    redheaded_dude saidSelfish though this may be, a bright side: I live in tolerant Texas and not intolerant Egypt.


    Thank god the supreme court struck down Texas sodomy laws in 2003 or you could have suffered the same fate.
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19138

    Apr 10, 2008 3:00 PM GMT
    Wow, Zimatar, that video brought me to tears. So sad but, sadly, in some cultures so true.
  • Laurence

    Posts: 942

    Apr 10, 2008 3:18 PM GMT
    What a really sad topic, and tear-jerking film.

    When we sit and moan about things (how we can't lose that last few kgs, men who don't call back etc) I think we forget what other gay people have to go through in other parts of the world.

    Lozx

  • Apr 10, 2008 3:25 PM GMT
    Almost 2 weeks ago (on March 30th), I watched PBS' "Foreign Exchange" program and was absolutely shocked to learn that gay sex is illegal in Jamaica and is punishable by 10 years in jail.

    Additionally, it is possible that the one found guilty of such an atrocious and horrendous act as "gay sex" (my goodness gracious!!!!) is faced with the possibility of hard (no pun intended for real) labor.

    Gays of the world, we must unite in strong, vocal, and unequivocal opposition to such blatant disregard for human rights as is exhibited by such laws as these. We must never give up in defending our human rights or the human rights of others not counted among us. The denial of human rights to one individual or group is the denial of human rights to all.

    I now step down from my bully pulpit and yield my time to whomever!
  • dfrourke

    Posts: 1062

    Apr 10, 2008 3:31 PM GMT

    ...um...folks...we still have tons of laws in our country that discriminate against lesbians and gays...maybe we should clean up our act before we start pointing fingers...

    ...just saying...

    - David
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    Apr 10, 2008 4:26 PM GMT
    That is very sad, at least its better than Iran..where they are either forced to undergo a sex change operation (which the government funds), or take the death sentence.....

    Along with the surgery, they provide counseling for the parents...

    I am happy no such laws exist in lebanon...They dont have a low against gays, they dont mind it, lots of the gov officials are gay, not to mention men affiliated with the Media, so many gays in leb, unbelievable....but the law states that anything deemed sexually "unnatural", is sentenced up to one year in jail, but they dont really specify
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 10, 2008 4:26 PM GMT
    Thanks for a mother's love!

    I remember back in the early '80s when HIV first appeared. We had no idea how it was contracted. I went celibate for 5 years....totally celibate. I wouldnt even let a guy kiss me on my mouth...only on the cheek. Now I am, of coure, passed that hysteria since we understand the virus.

    The Washington Blade back then used to run the obits with pictures. Each week we saw lists of people we knew or, at least, recognized by the pics. It was an unbelievable experience to live thru.

    I remember one fellow, Marcel (altho called "Marcella"). He tried to kiss me and I turned my cheek to him. He was a bit offended I guess and said "Ooooo, I must have AIDS." It was only a year or two later that I saw his obit in the Blade.
  • Muunrakur

    Posts: 169

    Apr 10, 2008 5:49 PM GMT
    If I can find a citation, I'll post it. But conservative icon William F. Buckley, once proposed that people with HIV/AIDS should be tattoo'd for easy identification. This is a guy who had tremendous sway over powerful, elected officials here in the USA. Its amazing the things that our own political class wants to do.. seems like the only thing that separates us from Egypt is that our theocrats don't have absolute power... at least not right now.
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    Apr 10, 2008 6:33 PM GMT
    After reading that and seeing the video my heart broke in two. I could'nt believe it and I still cannot believe those men are in jail as we sit here free. Its like we cant do anything to help them, Our world is condemning itself.
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    Apr 11, 2008 5:00 AM GMT
    I would comment but it might offend someone.
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    Apr 11, 2008 5:16 AM GMT
    John43620 saidI would comment but it might offend someone.


    and the point of your post was...?

    anyway...

    yeah, this is really sad. the video is moving, and is actually something that happens right here. my parents still don't know i'm gay. if my family knew, i feel this would happen to me (what happened to the guy in the video, not getting put in jail obviously)
  • redheaded_dud...

    Posts: 408

    Apr 11, 2008 9:04 PM GMT
    [quote][cite]MunchingZombie said Thank god the supreme court struck down Texas sodomy laws in 2003 or you could have suffered the same fate.[/quote]

    We had t-shirts with "21.06: Repeat Offender" written on them. (That was the number of the Texas Sodomy law).