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European Parliament Calls on Egypt to Stop Persecutions

Compiled By GayToday Courtesy of the International Gay & Lesbian Association

Brussels, Belgium--The European Parliament debated on Friday, adopting, as one of its urgencies, a resolution on human rights violations in Egypt, titled: Human rights: persecution of homosexuals in Egypt.

It is the Parliament's third Resolution on human rights in Egypt during the past year.

The resolution is a reaction to the ongoing human rights violation in Egypt and particularly to the decision on opening a new trial for 50 of the 52 men arrested at a Cairo gay nightclub last year.
Egyptian President Hosnai Mubarak

The Parliament calls on the Egyptian authorities to call a halt to all prosecution of citizens on the grounds of homosexuality and to protect their individual freedoms, and stresses that particular attention must be paid to prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

The beginning of a retrial and the Parliament's resolution of yesterday come at a time where the adopted EU-Egypt Euro Mediterranean Agreement is open for ratification by the parties.

The Parliament adopted in November 2001 a resolution on the conclusion of the Association Agreement expressing deep concern of the arrest, detention and trial of the 52 men on grounds relating to their homosexuality and calling on Egyptian authorities to continue their efforts to ensure greater respect for human rights.

"The Association Agreement contains a human rights clause, but the European Commission and Council have so far been reluctant to make use of such clause" explains ILGA-Europe Co-Chair Kurt Krickler and continues "if the EU proclamation on having a coherent approach in promoting human rights in the world is to be taken seriously, it is time to put words into action and start using the measures set out in the human rights clauses".

"The EU does not commit to its own human rights principles. If the EU continues to set policies of trade and economic cooperation as higher values, it sends the signal that the Egyptian authorities and authorities like them can get away with ongoing and serious human rights violations" adds Ailsa Spindler, Executive Director of ILGA-Europe.

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"There is more than the case of the Cairo 52 at stake - it is time for the EU to start implementing its human rights policy. By adopting this resolution, the European Parliament has shown the will to emphasize human rights, an approach we recommend to be taken by the other EU institutions".

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