Egypt - Age of Consent
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'Immorality' trial reconvenes in Egypt
Wednesday, August 29, 2001 / 03:20
SUMMARY: Lawyers for 52 suspected gay men told an Egyptian judge the case had no place in
a court where they had no right of appeal.
CAIRO -- Lawyers for 52 suspected homosexual men charged with immoral behavior told an
Egyptian judge on Wednesday the case had no place in a state security court where they had
no right of appeal. Police arrested the men in May during a Nile River raid on a
floating nightclub called the "Queen Boat," known locally as a popular gay
venue. "Emergency State Security Courts have only one level of litigation.
There is no appeal. It is illegitimate to deprive these people of the right to take
further legal action," attorney Taher Abu Nasr told the court. The trial, in
its third session since starting in July, has drawn the criticism of international rights
groups which say the men are being tried for their sexual orientation and denied freedom
of speech and association. Security forces with batons kept back angry family
members as the men were led to the courtroom and into a large black cage for defendants.
Some hid their faces and looked traumatized. One of five Western diplomats at the trial
told Reuters later: "We are concerned about the case, and we attach great importance
to freedom of sexual orientation."
The case, which has received extensive coverage in the local as well as international
media, has aroused strong passions in conservative Egypt. "It's not permitted.
It's not a matter of personal choice, as it is in some other Western communities," an
official source told Reuters. Defendants told reporters that support by gay rights
groups was unwelcome. "It will only make things worse," one said. Two face
additional charges On Wednesday lawyers said 50 of the defendants should be tried in
an ordinary civilian court. All 52, who pleaded not guilty, face charges of
"practicing sexual immorality" -- seen locally as a euphemism for homosexuality
-- with a maximum penalty of three years and a minimum fine of 300 Egyptian pounds ($70).
But the two main defendants face additional charges of "forming a group which aims to
exploit the Islamic religion to propagate extremist ideas" and "denigrating
monotheistic religions," which carry a maximum sentence of five years.
Prosecutor Ashraf Helal told the court it is because of those more serious charges
that the men were being tried in a state security court under Egypt's emergency laws.
The laws have been in place since 1981 to counter Muslim militant violence and mean
sentences can only be overturned via a petition to President Hosni Mubarak. Helal said
that one of the main defendants "met with his followers weekly on a tourist boat and
they engaged in wanton acts with each other."
But lawyers argued there was no connection between the 50 men facing the lesser charges
and the first two defendants. They said evidence of 893 photos, which prosecutors said
showed the men in indecent positions, bolstered their argument, since only up to five of
the accused were seen in the pictures. "There is no connection between the crime
allegedly committed by the first two and other 50 ... Sherif (the first defendant) said
himself during interrogation that he only knows two of the others," said lawyer Osama
Abu-Nil. Defendants told reporters through the cage that they had been whipped by
police when first arrested. "They whipped us all to be quiet and then forced us all
to say that we were gay," one said. The case continues on Sept. 5.
Facts about the country
EGYPT LAWS: 1. Homosexuality is legal, the age of sexual consent is 18 for all. Egypt
does have some regulations concerning "offences against public morals and
sensitivities" which could be used against homosexuals.
Egypt - Egypte - Egipto Le Caire
I . Ages for legal purposes
Age of majority (legal age)
The legal age is twenty-one years (21) old according to Child Law n°12, 1996.
Age of consent for sexual activity
The Child Law n°12 determines the age of consent for sexual activity at eighteen (18)
complete years old.
Age of consent for mariage
Sixteen (16) years old is the age of consent for marriage provided by the Child Law n°12.
Sexual intercourse with a child involving violence
Article 268/1-2 of the Penal Code enters in application in the case of the practice of
intercourse with child involving the use of violence :
1." every one that rapes a human being by violence or threat or attempted to do so is
punished by penal servitude for 3 to 7 years ".
In the case the victims age has not yet reached full sixteen (16) years old or the
offender is one of
those involved in the second paragraph of Article 267 of the Penal Code, which deals with
of the child or all the persons who could have authority over a child, punishment may be
to reach to the maximum limit of the penal servitude for a certain time.
Sexual intercourse with a minor under eighteen (18)
It is considered as a crime in accordance with Article 267 regardless of consent of the
use of violence :
1." Any person who rapes a boy or a girl minor, not yet full eighteen (18) years old,
using violence or threat, is to be punished by imprisonment.
2.If the victim is under full seven years or if the offender is one of those involved in
second paragraph of the article 267, punishment of penal servitude for a certain period of
time is to be inflicted "
Sexual intercourse with a child committed by a person related to the child, or having
authority over the child
In that case the Article 267 of Egyptian Penal Code intensified penalties :
(i) " Any person who copulates with a female without her consent is punished by
penal servitude for life or for a certain period of time. If the offender is related to
the child or responsible for the childs upbringing or having authority over the
child or serving her against salary or one of those previously mentionned, penalty
of penal servitude of life is inflicted.
IV. Child prostitution
Article 1 of the Law n° 10, 1961 on " Combating of prostitution, incitement and its
" a) Everyone that incites another whether a male or a female to commit a crime of
prostitution or assists him or her or paves the way for such an act to be committed and
everyone who uses, persuades or entices another for the purpose of committing an act of
immorality or prostitution is to be punished by imprisonment for a period which is not
one year and does not exceed three hundred pounds.
b) If the victim is a person who has not yet reached twenty-one (21) years, punishment is
inflicted for a period that is not less than one year and doesnt exceed five years
besides a fine
that ranges between 100 pounds and 500 pounds. "
Article 2 of the Law n° 10, 1961 on " Combating of prostitution, incitement and its
" Punishment, stated in item (b) of the previous article, is to be imposed on :
1) everyone who uses, persuades or entices a male or a female person with the
purpose of committing an act of immorality or prostitution by way of deceptions,
force, threat or misuse of power or by any other means of coercion .
2) everyone who retains by any of these means a male or a female person against
his will in an immorality or prostitution spot. "
Article 3 of the Law n° 10, 1961 on " Combating of prostitution, incitement and its
" Everyone who incites a male person, not yet twenty-one (21) years old or a female
age, to depart the country or facilitates the departure or uses or accompanies him or her
be engaged in acts of immorality or prostitution -
Everyone, as well, that assists such an act to be committed, while knowing, is to be
punished by a
term of imprisonment that is not less than one year and is not to exceed five years and a
ranging between 100 pounds and 500 pounds.
The maximum period for the term of imprisonment is seven years in case the crime was
against two or more persons or in case it was committed by any of the means indicated in
of article (2) other than the stated fine. "
Article 4 of the Law n° 10, 1961 on " Combating of prostitution, incitement and its
" The penalty to be inflicted as regards the 3 cases mentioned above is imprisonment
for a period
ranging between 3 and 7 years, this is to be carried out in case the prejudiced person is
sixteen (16) years old ; or the wrongdoer is a relative of the victim or a person who is
for raising or taking care of him ; or who has authority over him ; or a hired servant
the wrongdoer, or for any of the above-mentioned persons. "
Article 5 of the Law n° 10, 1961 on " Combating of prostitution, incitement and its
" Everyone who helps or facilitates the entry of a person into the A.R.E. to commit
immorality or prostitution, is punished with imprisonment for one up to five years and a
ranging between L.E. 100 and L.E. 500. "
Article 6 of the Law n° 10, 1961 on " Combating of prostitution, incitement and its
" A person will be punished with imprisonment for 6 months up to 3 years :
a) if he helps a female person to practise prostitution, even by spending money ;
b) if he exploits, by any means, another persons prostitution or immorality.
The punishment to be imposed is imprisonment for 1 up to 5 years, if the offence is linked
situation mentioned in article 4 of the Law N°10. "
Article 11 of the Law n° 10, 1961 on " Combating of prostitution, incitement and its
" Every exploiter or manager of a public place or any place of entertainment, or any
opened for the public using persons practising immorality or prostitution, for the purpose
facilitating the practising of such wrong acts, or exploiting persons in propagandising
is punished with imprisonment for up to two years, and a fine up to L.E. 200.
If the wrongdoer is one of the persons referred to in article 2 (a relative or a person
having authority over the victim), the punishment is imprisonment for 2 to 4 years and a
ranging between L.E. 200 and L.E. 400.
A sentence is to be issued stating the closing of concerned place for a period not
months ; this closing becomes final and decisive in case of recurrence. "
Article 14 of the Law n° 10, 1961 on " Combating of prostitution, incitement and its
" Anyone who publishes by any means of advertisement a call implying a temptation for
practising immoral acts or drawing attention to them, shall be punished with imprisonment
exceeding 3 years and a fine not exceeding L.E. 100 or any of said punishments inflicted
V. Child pornography
Article 178 of the Penal Code n°58 of 1937
" A punishment of imprisonment for 2 years and a fine from 20 to 500 L.E. or one of
these punishments shall be imposed on anyone who :
manufactured or possessed -
printed materials, manuscripts, advertisements, relieves, engraves, manual or photographic
drawings, symbolic signs or any other material or photographs violating public morals ;
- in case this manufacture or possession was intended to trafficking, adhesion or
The same punishment shall be imposed on anyone who :
1.imported, exported or transferred by himself or by any other person any of the
2.Issued an advertisement, publicly exhibited, sold, rented, offered for sale or for rent,
even though this was unpublicly effected.
3.Publicly and by direct or indirect means forwarded, even though free of charge and by
any means, any of the above-mentioned material.
4.Distributed or handed over with intent to be distributed, by any means, any of these
5.Discretely distributed any of these materials, even though free of charge and with
intent to corrupt morals.
As well as the fore-cited punishment is to be inflicted to anyone who :
1.publicly delivered immoral songs, shouting or speeches.
2.publicly seduced committing debauchery or issued advertisements or messages of any
In case of recidivism the punishment shall be imprisonment and a fine without
violating article 50 of this Code. "
Article 89 of the Law n° 12, 1996, called " Child Law "
" It is prohibited to publish, exhibit or circulate any arranged or audio prints or
classifications on children that excite their inner instincts or increase their
violates values of society or that encourages their delinquency.
With non violation of any more severe penalty that is stipulated by another law, penalty
is to be
imposed on the provision of the previous paragraph with a fine that is not to be less than
and is not to exceed 500 pounds and the violating prints or classifications must be
Article 116 of the " Child Law " n°12, 1996
" By preparing the child for practising such an act, assisting, inciting or
facilitating to him or
her committing such an act by any means, even if delyquency did not actually happen,
is to be for not less than 3 months in the case the offender use with the child any means
coercicion or threat or the offender was the relative of the victim or responsible for the
upbringing or the victim was handed over to him by virtue of law " .