Egypt: Amnesty Slams 'Immorality' Charge
The human rights group Amnesty International called on Egypt Tuesday to free a teenager jailed for three years for “practicing sexual immorality.”
"We are extremely concerned about the conviction and harsh sentencing of a child for his alleged sexual orientation," Amnesty said in a joint statement with the New York-based Human Rights Watch and two other rights groups.
"We are seriously concerned that this child was interrogated in violation of international standards," it said.
The boy, who has just turned 16 years old, was arrested along with 52 other men in a raid on a floating Nile nightclub called the Queen Boat, known locally as a popular gay nightspot, said The Middle East Times.
Then 15, he was sentenced to three years in juvenile detention last month, the maximum sentence he could receive, the weekly said.
Meanwhile, Amnesty accused the Egyptian government of torturing the other 52 men, who had reported ill treatment during pre-trial detention. the rights watchdog said it knew of no impartial investigation into those allegations.
All defendants pleaded not guilty. Homosexuality is regarded as a taboo in Egypt.
Meanwhile, reports coming out of Egypt claim that the government has arrested several dozen gay men.
Egyptian gay rights site GayEgypt.com says it has not been able to confirm the arrests, but reports that it has received information that the men were detained by police in the affluent Cairo suburb of Heliopolis, not far from Cairo's international airport. It says additional arrests have been made near the Pyramids – Albawaba.com
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