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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.4/2003/68/Add.1, February 27, 2003: Egypt

446. A 19-year-old university student was reportedly arrested by a police officer from the Department for Eradicating Crimes Against Public Morality at the Interior Ministry, in Cairo, on 19 May 2002, and taken to the Vice Squad headquarters in the Tahrir Administrative Compound where he was allegedly beaten, severely shaken and forced to sign a confession stating that he had been a passive partner in an anal sex relationship with several men over a three-year period. He was reportedly transferred to Qasr El-Nil Prosecution office for further interrogation. Although the medical tests he allegedly underwent on 21 May 2002, upon the prosecutor’s order, did not show any evidence of anal sex, he was reportedly found guilty of “habitual practice of debauchery” and of “enticing passers-by to commit indecency”, and sentenced on 8 June 2002 to three years’ imprisonment, a fine and three additional years of probation or close supervision.

463. On 25 January 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent an urgent appeal on behalf of five men detained in connection with their actual or perceived sexual orientation and who had already been detained, early January 2002 in Buhaira Province, southeast of Alexandria. On 15 January, the Public Prosecutor of Damanhour reportedly ordered the men to be detained while investigations were carried out into allegations of “habitual debauchery”, a charge allegedly used to criminalize homosexual acts. As the Public Prosecution reportedly ordered the defendants to be medically examined by forensic experts, fears were expressed that the men would be forcibly subjected to anal examinations.

464. On 14 March 2002, the Special Rapporteur sent a joint urgent appeal with the Chairman-Rapporteur of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on behalf of Yassir Ahmad Fouad, Mansour Hassan Muhamad, Ali Rizq Muhammad, Muhammad Ahmad Hussein and Samir Mahmud Ali who had reportedly been sentenced on 11 March 2002 to three years’ imprisonment at a trial held in Damanhour, Al-Beheira Province, on charges of “habitual practice of debauchery” and “operating a house for the purpose of debauchery”. It was reported that they had confessed under duress to consensual homosexual acts. The prosecutor was said to have confirmed that they had been subjected to an anal examination. The men had allegedly been beaten at Beheira Security Directorate and Damanhour Prison and two of them had reportedly been subjected to electric shocks at Damanhour Police Station No. 1 detention facility.

465. By letter dated 4 June 2002, the Government responded that Yassir Ahman Fouad, Mansour Hassan Muhamad, Ali Rizq Muhammad, Muhammad Ahmad Hussein and Samir Mahmud Ali had been arrested on suspicion of engaging in habitual debauchery, as defined under the provisions of the law, and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment by the Damanhour Court. An appeal lodged in Damanhour was upheld in a ruling handed down on 13 April 2002, and the accused were acquitted.

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