Thursday, April 10, 2008

Habitual practice of debauchery

Two HIV positive men have been jailed for the "habitual practice of debauchery", as consensual homosexual acts are called in Egypt. It's feared that this will make HIV positive people afraid to come forward for treatment.

Meanwhile, the leader of the Egyptian pro-democracy movement Kefaya has been arrested.

Egypt isn't going to throw off the legacies of authoritarianism and religious extremism overnight, but the country is a significant beneficiary of aid. It is time aid was made conditional on certain basic norms. Instead of standing quietly by while Islamic states persecute people for their sexuality and pervert and undermine freedom of speech, we should be encouraging them to extend political and personal freedom, including freedom of expression, in their own countries by making aid conditional on gentle reform.

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