Egypt: 'Damanhour Five' not guilty

International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
An Egyptian appeals court in Damanhour, found the "Damanhour Five" not-guilty of all charges. The five men had been convicted in March 2002 of consensual homosexual conduct, and had been sentenced to 3 years' imprisonment and 3 years' probation.
The Damanhour trials come after a year in which brutal arrests, allegations of torture, and hard labor sentences and sensationalized trials of suspected homosexuals have become a regular occurrence in Egypt. The Damanhour defendants themselves have not been released yet. The five have been in jail since their arrest on January 15, 2002. They were convicted March 11 of the "habitual practice of debauchery" [al-fujur] under Article 9(c) of Law 10/1961--a provision commonly used in Egypt to penalize consensual homosexual behavior. The same law was used to sentence 23 men to one to five years of hard labor on November 14 of last year, in the notorious Queen Boat case.