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This report was written by Scott Long, researcher on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights for Human Rights Watch. It is based principally on research conducted during a mission to Egypt from January until May of 2003. Numerous people in Egypt, who cannot be named for reasons of security, participated in this research in a variety of courageous and invaluable ways. We dedicate this report to them in the hope that the repressive conditions enforcing their anonymity will ultimately change—and in the consciousness that this volume (along with the tangible possibility of substantive legal and social change in Egypt) is, in a very real sense, their achievement and the emanation of their vision.

Human Rights Watch wishes gratefully to acknowledge the work of the many Egyptian non-governmental organizations supporting the cause of human rights. We particularly thank the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights; the Hisham Mubarak Law Center; and the Nadim Center for the Psychological Management and Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, for their commitment to principle and their vital assistance and support, both during Scott Long’s mission and in our work on Egypt in general. Human Rights Watch also gratefully acknowledges the work of the Egyptian Association Against Torture, a new non-governmental organization which was formed to address critical issues of official abuse central to this report, and which was denied legal status by the Egyptian government in August 2003.

At Human Rights Watch, this report was edited by Clarisa Bencomo, researcher for the children’s rights division; Michael Bochenek, counsel to the children’s rights division; Widney Brown, deputy program director; and Iain Levine, program director. Jesse Bernstein, Mohamed Abdel Dayem, Andrea Holley, and Leila Hull provided production assistance.

Human Rights Watch expresses its gratitude to David Bohnett; the David Geffen Foundation; James C. Hormel and Timothy C. Wu; Sid Sheinberg; and Reid Williams, for their ongoing support of its work on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people’s rights.

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March 2004