Release 23 men imprisoned for being gay" - MEP tells Mubarak"

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak must immediately overturn the jail sentences of up to five years handed down this week by a state security court to 23 men simply for being gay or on suspicion of being gay says London's Liberal Democrat MEP Baroness Sarah Ludford.

Fifty-two men were arrested in May during a police raid on a floating night club on the Nile and 29 were acquitted when the remaining 23 were convicted on Wednesday 14th November. Charges included debauchery contempt of religion falsely interpreting the Koran and exploiting Islam to promote deviant ideas but they amounted to little more than a trial for being gay.

MEP secures assurances on treatment of gay prisoners in Egypt

Baroness Sarah Ludford the Liberal Democrat MEP for London has secured written assurances from both Foreign Office minister Ben Bradshaw MP and European Commissioner Chris Patten about the treatment of the 52 gay men arrested during a raid on a floating nightclub on the Nile.

The two men have pledged that the British government and the EU will continue to monitor closely the treatment of the arrested men.

Sarah Ludford said: "Despite homosexuality being legal in Egypt these men have reportedly undergone degrading medical examinations to determine whether or not they have ever engaged in gay sex acts.

Practise what you preach, Ludford tells EU

Liberal Democrat MEP for London Baroness Sarah Ludford has written to the new President of the EU Council of Ministers Belgium's Liberal Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt to protest at the Council's double standards on gay rights.

"It is unacceptable for the Council to fail to implement equality laws that it rightly enforces in Member States. How can the EU institutions have credibility if they say one thing and do another?" said the MEP.


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