Gay Retrial in
CAIRO, Egypt -- The judge assigned to preside over the retrial of 50 Egyptian men who were detained last May in a government raid on the predominantly gay Queen Boat nightclub recused himself from the case on Tuesday.
The Associated Press reports Judge Mohammed Abdel Karim, who had been assigned the case at random, said that his involvement in the original case should disqualify him from presiding over the retrial. A new judge is expected to be named July 16.
Of the 52 men detained and charged by the local authorities in the anti-gay sweep on the floating nightclub last year, Abdel Karim acquitted 29 defendants and convicted 23. Sentences ranged from one to five years.
Human rights officials complained that many of those detained were subjected to invasive anal "examinations" to determine whether they engaged in intercourse. Many said they were subjected to regular torture and beatings.
In response to concerted international pressure, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak threw out the convictions and ordered a retrial for all but the two main defendants. He said the charges against them were not serious enough to warrant trial in an emergency court.
The president in his capacity as the military ruler must approve
sentences of emergency courts.
Amnesty International and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission denounced the retrial. "We are clearly concerned at the decision of the Egyptian authorities to prosecute these men once again on charges which are discriminatory and violate their right to privacy," Amnesty said in statement Tuesday.
In a statement last week, IGLHRC accused the Egyptian government of "inflicting the indignity of another trial on these men" and flouting an international legal principle that prohibits trying someone for an offense for which he or she has been already tried.
None of the 21 men who were convicted and released on bond appeared in court Tuesday.
Over 20 members of the Gay and
Lesbian Arab Society marched in the New York City LGBT Pride Day parade. Along with vehicle blaring loud Arabic dance
music, marchers made their way down
GLAS also held a successful
fundraising dance party two nights prior to the parade in order to support the
legal defense team of the
A member of the Israeli gay and lesbian group Black
Laundry wears a Palestinian headdress as she protests against the Israeli
occupation of the
The new alliance, which came together last year, has also been given a a major boost from the Bush administration, the newspaper says, by appointing conservative activists to key positions in American delegations to U.N. conferences on global social policy.
Religious and social conservatives have strengthened ties with the
"We look at them as allies, not necessarily as friends,"
said Austin Ruse who heads the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute.
"We have realized that without countries like
The fundamentalist alliance has once again put the Bush
administration on a collision course with European allies, which broadly
support the expansion of sexual and political rights. Moreover, the
The Post reports the partnership does have some value
internationally, especially as the
"The main issue that brings us all together is defending the family values, the natural family," added Mokhtar Lamani, a Moroccan diplomat who represents the 53-nation bloc, the Organization of Islamic Conferences. The group has been successful in keeping out international lesbian and gay rights groups from attending conferences on AIDS and racism.
The Islamic-Christian alliance also claimed an important victory at the U.N. children's meeting last month. The Bush administration led the coalition in blocking an effort by European and Latin American countries to support birth control and other reproductive choice for women in poor countries.
Western officials say they are alarmed by the rise in influence of
religious conservatives in the United Nations. "They are trying to undo
some of the landmark agreements that were reached in the 1990s, particularly on
women's rights and family planning," a U.N.-based European diplomat said.
"This alliance shows the depths of perversity of the American position," said Adrienne Germaine, president of the International Women's Health Coalition. "On the one hand we're presumably blaming these countries for unspeakable acts of terrorism, and at the same time we are allying ourselves with them in the oppression of women."
Egypt sentences 5 more suspected
Mon Mar 11,
Gay.com / PlanetOut.com Network
SUMMARY: An Egyptian court sentenced five suspected gay men on Monday to three years in prison with hard labor.
An Egyptian court sentenced five suspected gay men on Monday to three years in prison with hard labor, continuing a punitive trend that has alarmed human rights advocates around the world.
A spokesman from the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) reported that the men were also tortured while in prison and that Monday's trial took approximately 15 minutes.
The men pleaded guilty to debauchery and running a house for gay sex parties, according to the Associated Press. An appeal hearing has been set for April 13. The men's names were not revealed.
arrested in January in
rights and gay rights groups have regularly criticized
Last week activists in Washington, D.C., protested outside a meeting between U.S. President George W. Bush (news - web sites) and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (news - web sites) because the two leaders have not publicly addressed the human rights abuses.
's penal code does not outlaw homosexuality, but laws against obscenity, debauchery and prostitution have been used to justify gay-related convictions Egypt
Taliban rule is over in
Once a boy becomes the property of a Pashtun, who is usually married with a wife and family, he is marked out. The Kandaharis, however, accept Pashtun relationships as part of their culture. Pashtun and their ashna "beloveds" have been part of everyday life for centuries.
the days of the Mujahidin, there were men with their ashna everywhere, at every corner, in shops, on the
streets, in hotels: It was completely open, a part of life," Torjan, 38, one of the soldiers loyal to
are just emerging again," Torjan said. "The
fighters too now have the boys in their barracks. This was brought to the
attention of Gul Agha, who
ordered the boys to be expelled, but it continues. The boys live with the
fighters very openly. In a short time, and certainly within a year, it will be
like pre-Taliban: They will be everywhere."
Blair, his wife Cherie and their four children spent nearly
a week visiting the pyramids in
The Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association (GALHA) condemned the trip as hypocrisy and a slap in the face for lesbian and gay people around
Blair's trip comes just over a month after
GALHA secretary George Broadhead said: "At the Labour party conference last year, Blair said that human rights would be at the center of his foreign policy, and yet here he is offering support to a regime that persecutes gays."
The men were publicly beheaded in the city of
The charges against Ali bin Hattan bin Saad, Mohammad bin Suleiman bin Mohammad and Mohammad bin Khalil bin Abdullah included "engaging in the extreme obscenity and ugly acts of homosexuality, marry among themselves and molesting the young."
At least 122 people were executed in