Opinion No. 25/2009 (Egypt): Communication addressed to the Government on 18 May 2009

Concerning: The source has specifically requested that the names of the 10 individuals concerned not be published; the Government was fully informed of their identities.

6. The ten persons were arrested on 2 January 2009 for allegedly engaging in consensual sexual relations with others of the same sex. All 10 men have been charged under case No.169/2009 Al-Agouza Misdemeanours pursuant to article 9, lit. (c) of Law 10/1961 (Law on Combating Prostitution). This provision criminalizes the “habitual practice of debauchery”, which is interpreted to include consensual sexual behaviour between men. In addition, one person has been charged with “managing a residence for the practice of debauchery”, under Article 8 of Law 10/1961. It may lead to imposition of a sentence of up to three years of imprisonment and a fine of up to 300 Egyptian pounds.

31. In light of the above, the Working Group is of the opinion that the detention of these 10 people is arbitrary, and falls under categories I and II of the categories applied by the Working Group detention. The detention of these persons is in violation of article 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and articles 2 and 26 of the ICCPR.

32. Consequently, the Working Group requests the immediate release of these persons.

33. In addition, the Working Group reiterates its earlier call (vide Opinion No. 42/2008) upon the Government to reconsider the Anti-Prostitution Law and to bring it in conformity with the international human rights obligations undertaken by the State.

Adopted on 24 November 2009

Complete text as published in the compilation: Opinions-WG Arbitrary Detention-Egypt-2009-eng

Link to full text of the report: Opinions-WG Arbitrary Detention-2011-eng

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