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Report of the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, E/CN.4/2002/76/Add.1, March 14, 2002: Egypt

507.  On 17 May 2001, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers and the Chairman- Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on behalf of at least 56 persons, amongst them [names of persons], who had reportedly been arrested on 10 May 2001 during a raid by police in Cairo of the discotheque “Queen Boat”, on a boat moored in the Nile in Zamalek district. The police reportedly targeted men who appeared to them to be homosexual or who were not accompanied by women. The detained men were reportedly driven to the vice squad headquarters in Abdin police station, where they were said to be held in incommunicado detention. They were reportedly interrogated for at least two days by the High State Security Prosecution Office. Furthermore, it was reported that they were subjected to an anal forensic medical examination by the State Security authorities, which was allegedly intended to be used as proof of homosexuality. They have reportedly been transferred to Tora prison. Officials of the High State Security Prosecution Office reportedly stated that the men would be charged with exploiting religion to promote extreme ideas to create strife and belittling revealed religions. It is believed that the defendants will be made to stand trial before a State Security court, whose rulings would reportedly not be subject to appeal. [98]

508. By letter dated 21 August 2001, the Government replied that the Department of State Security Prosecutions undertook an investigation concerning members of the illegal organization Wakalat Allah, Rabb ul-Junoud (the Agency of God, the Lord of Hosts), which was encouraging young people to embrace its ideology based on an erroneous interpretation of some verses of the Koran. All measures taken against them were in accordance with the regulations concerning remand in custody pending investigation, contrary to the allegations to the effect that they were detained illegally or questioned without lawyers being present. Since Egyptian law contains no provision that designates sexual perversion as a criminal offence, the group was officially charged with showing contempt for religion and engaging openly in debauchery. The youngest member was put on trial separately as a juvenile in August 2001.

Link to full text of the report: report of the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, E/CN.4/2002/76/Add.1

Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1.  Please  note  that  this  case  is  also  mentioned  in  the  report  of  the  Special  Rapporteur  on  the independence  of judges and lawyers, E/CN.4/2002/72,  February 11, 2003, para. 57. The Working Group on arbitrary detention has also addressed this case in its Opinion No 7/2002 (Egypt), E/CN.4/2003/8/Add.1,  January 24, 2003, and in its annual report of 2003, E/CN.4/2004/3, December 15, 2003 and of 2002, E/CN.4/2003/8, December 16, 2002.