Gay Website Claims UK Foreign Office Responded to Call to Review Egypt Travel Guidelines
The UK Foreign Office is to review its travel guidelines to Egypt, following a call from Gay.com urging it to warn gay travelers of possible trouble in the light of a high profile homosexual court case, the website claims.
It said that the FO was alerted when Gay.com announced that it is to launch a petition Friday calling on the Foreign Office to warn gay British travelers of the possible dangers of traveling to Egypt, following the arrest of 52 men at a party on the Nile in May. The men are being tried for immorality.
A report by Gay.com quoted a statemnt by the foreign office as saying, “We are very concerned about this case, in particular the use of a State Security Court to try the men and reports that the men were mistreated during questioning,”
“We regularly raise human rights issues including our concerns about this case with the Egyptian Government .”
“We will listen to the views of the gay community about reflecting discrimination against homosexuals in our travel advice,” added the FO. “Our travel advice is under constant review.”
Although homosexuality is not illegal in Egypt, the FO said it was very concerned about this trial, according to the report.
The men are due to appear at a closed court on August 29 in Cairo and could face three-year prison terms; their families have reportedly been barred from attending.
The trial has prompted international protests and a call by Amnesty International for a tourist boycott of Egypt.
Fifty of the men are charged with ‘practicing debauchery with men’. The remaining two, deemed by the Egyptian Attorney General Maher Abdel Whahid to have been the leaders of the group, have been charged with ‘exploiting the Islamic religion to spread extremist ideas’ and practicing gay sex ‘as part of the group’s rituals … with the aim of insulting the heavenly religions and sparking civil strife.” – Albawaba.com
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