In a Time of Torture:
The Assault on Justice In Egypt’s Crackdown on Homosexual Conduct

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Human Rights Watch Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Program

Human Rights in Egypt


  1. Justice at Stake: An Introduction
    1. Summary
    2. Methodology, Terminology
    3. Creating a Moral Panic
    4. Key Recommendations
  2. Homosexual Conduct and the Law: The Conditions for a Crackdown
    1. Khaled’s Story
    2. The Development of “Debauchery”
    3. “Dance, Khawalat, Dance”: Growing Harassment and the Dangers of Community
  3. Scandal and Stigma: The Queen Boat Trials
    1. The First Defendant
    2. “Some Salt in the Dish”: Police Prepare the Case
    3. “While I was Beaten, Time Stopped”: The Queen Boat Raid
    4. Detention and Defamation
    5. Trial and Retrial
  4. In the Wake of the Queen Boat: Assaults on Privacy and Community
    1. Introduction to an Informer: A Birthday Party in Al-Haram
    2. “Of Course the Police Would Trump Something Up”: A Party in Boulaq Al-Dakrour
    3. Torture in Damanhour: The “Beheira Perverts’ Organization”
    4. “I am Broken By This”: An Apartment in Tanta
    5. Hafez Celebrates Again: Twelve Men in Agouza
    6. “They Thought That This Was Personal Freedom”: A Wiretap in Giza
  5. Exploiting Solitude: Entrapment Over the Internet
    1. Raoul’s Story
    2. Sex, Lies, and Cyberspace: Identities of an Entrapper
    3. Arrest and Interrogation
    4. “The Country of Hate”
  6. A Flawed Mirror: Prejudice and the Workings of Justice

    I used to think being gay was just part of my life and now I know it means dark cells and beatings. It is very, very difficult to be gay in Egypt.

    I’ll tell you something. Some things that happen in your life you can forget. And there are some things that you can never forget, even for one minute. You forget the good times; you may have been happy in a moment, and you forget. But the black days you can’t forget. If it’s inside you, you remember every minute. And [the day I was tortured] was a very black day in my life. … It hurts me to remember.

    I don’t sleep at all. If I sleep I would dream about the trial. If I have to go back to prison, I will kill myself. What do they want from us? I have no one to talk to, no one to ask. No one who can understand. What do they want from us? Why do they want our lives?

    —Ziyad (not his real name), a defendant in the “Queen Boat” trial, interviewed by Human Rights Watch in 2003.

    1. A Moulid in Tanta
    2. Fear, Loathing, and the Law: The Effect of Stigma
      1. Surveillance, Arrests, and Harassment
      2. Without Protection of the Law
      3. Failure of Due Process
  7. Bodies and Evidence: The Motives, and Medicine, of Torture
    1. Shebl and Naguib's Story
    2. Pressure for Proof, Power of Stigma
    3. Medical Torture: Forensic Anal Examinations and the Assault on Bodily Integrity
      1. Medicine and Myth
      2. “Dignity” and “Consent”
  8. Conclusions
    1. Legal Standards
      1. The Right to Privacy and the Right to Freedom from Discrimination
      2. The Right to Freedom from Torture
      3. Health Professionals and Torture
      4. The Right to Freedom From Arbitrary Arrest and Detention
      5. The Right to a Fair Trial
      6. The Right to Freedom of Expression
      7. The Rights to Freedom of Association and Assembly
    2. Recommendations
      1. General
      2. On Freedom of Expression and Communications
      3. On Fair Trials
      4. On Arbitrary Detention and Torture
      5. Recommendations to Other Agencies and Countries
    APPENDIX: Laws Affecting Male Homosexual Conduct in Egypt
    1. Relevant Articles of Law 10/1961 on the Combating of Prostitution
    2. Moral Panic and the Criminalization of “Debauchery” in Egyptian Law
    3. “Habituality”
    4. “Advertising” and “Inducing”: Other Provisions
    5. Police Supervision and Institutionalization

    March 2004     ISBN: 1564322963