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Promotion and protection of all human rights; Opinions adopted by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, A/HRC/13/30/Add.1, 2 March 2010

Opinion No. 42/2008 (EGYPT): Communication addressed to the Government on 30 May 2008

Concerning Messrs. A, B, C, and D (Full names were transmitted to the Government but are not published at source’s request).

The State is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

1. (Same text as paragraph 1 of Opinion No. 17/2008.)

2. The Working Group conveys its appreciation to the Government for having provided it with information concerning the allegations of the source.

3. (Same text as paragraph 3 of Opinion No. 17/2008.)

4. According to the source, Messrs. A, B, C, and D were arrested on 20 November 2007 at the home of Mr. A in Agouza. An arrest warrant had only been issued against Mr. A. Their arrests were part of a crackdown on HIV-positive suspects.

5. The four men were charged with homosexual conduct and convicted by the Agouza Court of Misdemeanours (case file No. 26073/2007) to one year of imprisonment each on 13 January 2008 pursuant to article 9 (c) of Law 10/1961, which makes the “habitual practice of debauchery (fujur)” a crime. In addition, Mr. A was charged with “administering a house for debauchery” and the other three with “exploitation of the debauchery of others”. The Agouza Court of Misdemeanours applied the underlying criminal provisions as to include and incriminate consensual homosexual conduct. The Agouza Appellate Court of Misdemeanours rejected the four men’s appeals on 2 February 2008 and upheld their prison sentences.

6. Messrs. A, C, and D are currently imprisoned at Al Qota Prison, Giza. Mr. B was being held chained to his bed 23 hours a day at Imbaba Fevers Hospital in Cairo until his sentence was upheld on 2 February 2008. It is believed that he was to be transferred to the hospital at Al Qota Prison; however, his current place of detention could not be established.

28. In light of the above, the Working Group renders the following Opinion: The detention of Messrs. A, B, C, and D constitutes arbitrary detention according to categories II and III of the categories applied by the Working Group in its consideration of cases. It is in violation of articles 2, 9, and 10 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and articles 2, 9, 14, and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

29. Consequently, the Working Group requires the immediate release of these persons. It further calls upon the Government to end arbitrary arrests based on HIV status; and to study the possibility of reconsidering the Anti-Prostitution Decree Law and its implementation in practice in order to bring them in conformity with the international human rights obligations undertaken by the Arab Republic of Egypt as a State party to International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Opinions-WG Arbitrary Detention-Egypt-2008-eng

Link to full text of the report: Opinions-WG Arbitrary Detention-2010-eng