In Egypt, Merely Being HIV+ Gets You Arrested

Jim Burroway

February 7th, 2008

It all started when police broke up an altercation, and in the process discovered that one of the men was HIV-positive. Human Rights Watch has the scoop:

The arrests began in October 2007, when police stopped two men having an altercation on a street in central Cairo. When one of them told the officers that he was HIV-positive, police immediately took them both to the Morality Police office and opened an investigation against them for homosexual conduct. The two men told human rights defenders that they were slapped and beaten for refusing to sign statements the police wrote for them. They spent four days in the Morality Police office handcuffed to an iron desk, sleeping on the floor. Police later subjected the two men to forensic anal examinations designed to “prove” that they had engaged in homosexual conduct. …

Two more men were arrested because their photos were found in the wallets of the first two men. So far, these four men have not been charged, but the matter doesn’t end there. Human Rights Watch continues:

Meanwhile, police apparently placed the apartment where one of the men had lived under surveillance. On November 20, two days after a new tenant had assumed the lease, police raided the apartment and detained four other men. …

People who have spoken to the four men since their arrest told Human Rights Watch that a non-commissioned officer in the police station beat one detainee on the head several times. Police allegedly forced the four men to stand in a painful position for three hours with their arms lifted in the air. They were provided no food, drink, or blankets during their first four days of detention. Authorities also tested these men for HIV without their consent. One of the men reportedly said that the prosecutor, when informing him that he had tested positive for HIV, told him: ‘People like you should be burnt alive. You do not deserve to live.'”

A court sentenced them to one year in jail for the “habitual practice of debauchery.”

David

February 7th, 2008

And the US gives how much money to Egypt every year?

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