The defense lawyer for 52 Egyptians accused of homosexual activity said Thursday that he believed the forthcoming session would be the last in the trial, which has raised the hackles of domestic and international human rights groups.
Taher Abul Naser, from Hisham Mubarak Law Center, told Albawaba.com that he believed a verdict would follow the final session, which has once again been adjourned.
The “suspected gay men,” who face charges of "immoral behavior" and "contempt for religion," have been detained since their May 11 arrest on a tourist boat, which has long been known as a gathering place for the Egyptian gay community.
The arrest triggered bitter criticism by local and international human rights groups. In addition, various countries and international bodies have sent “observers” to monitor the proceedings.
The London-based human rights watchdog, Amnesty International, has said it is "gravely concerned about the ongoing detention" of the young Egyptians, who authorities describe as homosexuals.
According to Amnesty, the vilification and persecution of people for their sexuality violate fundamental principles of international human rights law.
The right to freedom from discrimination on the basis of sex, which includes sexual orientation, is recognized in regional and international treaties, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Egypt is a state party, according to the rights group - Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )