Language Switcher

Report of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: “Civil and political rights, including the questions of torture and detention”, E/CN.4/2004/3, December 15, 2003

III. Issues of concern

A. Discrimination

73. The Working Group has also been informed that, in some countries, drug addicts, prostitutes, homosexuals and people suffering from AIDS are locked up on the grounds that they represent a risk to society, and people are given prison sentences solely because of their sexual orientation. Having received a communication concerning 55 persons prosecuted and detained on account of their homosexuality, the Working Group took the view that their detention was arbitrary because it violated articles 2, paragraph 1, and 26 of the International Covenant on Civil Rights, which guarantee equality before the law and the right to equal legal protection against all forms of discrimination, including that based on sex. The Working Group based its opinion on that of the Committee on Human Rights, according to which the reference to “sex” in articles 2, paragraph 1, and 26 is to be taken as including sexual orientation (CCPR/C/50/488/1992, para. 8.7).[33]

link to full text of the Report:


Footnotes    (↵ returns to text)

  1.  Please note that 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.4/2003/8, December 16, 2002. This case is also mentioned in the 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.1March 14, 2002, para. 507 and in the report of the Special Rapporteur  on the independence  of judges and lawyers, E/CN.4/2002/72,  February 11, 2003, para. 57.