Rainbows will shine | 14355
In 2001, 52 men who were arrested aboard a floating gay nightclub called the Queen Boat, which was moored on the Nile in Cairo. Of the 52 accused, who became internationally known as the “Cairo 52”, 29 were acquitted; 23 were convicted for “habitual debauchery” under Law 10 of 1961 on the Combat of Prostitution and defaming Islam. All 52 men had pleaded innocent but they were sentenced to up to five years prison with hard labour. The trial was held in a state security court, allowing no appeal.
Dr. Essam Elarian, a spokesman for the Brotherhood, expressed a common opinion. “From my religious view, all the religious people, in Christianity, in Judaism, condemn homosexuality,” he told the BBC. “It is against the whole sense in Egypt. The temper in Egypt is against homosexuality.”
The event drew international intrigue, with media exclusives that revealed the men were subjected to beatings and forensic examinations to “prove their homosexuality.” One Queen Boat eyewitness told the BBC in 2002: “The police told the man to take down his trousers. They wanted to see if he was wearing typical Egyptian underwear – baggy white cotton. If he was not, they said he must be a homosexual. He failed the test.”