CAIRO, Egypt – An Egyptian court convicted five men Wednesday on charges of homosexual behavior and sentenced them to three years in prison, officials said.
Defense lawyer, Adel Ramadan, said the judge found the men guilty of the “habitual practice of debauchery” — a term used in the Egyptian legal system to denote consensual homosexual acts.
The convictions were confirmed by a judicial official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to journalists. Homosexuality is not explicitly referred to in Egypt’s legal code, but a wide range of laws covering obscenity, prostitution and debauchery are applied to homosexuals in this conservative country.
The five men were arrested in what human rights groups describe as a crackdown on people with the AIDS virus, using the debauchery charges as a means to prosecute them.
In many places in the ME, homosexuals would face even harsher sentences, like stoning or hanging. Ironically, one of the least known places of refuge for Palestinian gays, is Israel. More here. *L* KGS