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C 93 E/138 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 18.4.

2002

Regarding the Honourable Member’s claim that the measures agreed on by the Council on 13 July 2001
are ‘without any legal justification’, the Commission would like to point out that these measures are based
on existing legal instruments, in particular the provisions of the Convention implementing the Schengen
Agreement (article 46) and the Joint Action 97/339/JHA adopted by the Council on 26 May 1997 on the
basis of article K.3 of the Treaty on European Union with regard to cooperation on law and order and
security (1).

(1) OJ L 147, 5.6.1997.

(2002/C 93 E/166) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2477/01


by Carlos Carnero González (PSE) to the Council

(14 September 2001)

Subject: Trial of citizens accused of homosexuality in Egypt

The expected trial in Egypt of dozens of citizens accused of homosexuality began in August 2001.

The natural indignation with which European public opinion has responded to this trial, which
contravenes such fundamental values as free sexual choice, calls for decisive political action on the part
of the Union vis-à-vis the Egyptian authorities.

It might be recalled that the EU and Egypt have concluded an Association Agreement in which full respect
for human rights is enshrined as a basic principle. The holding of this trial and the existence of the
arbitrary laws on which it is founded constitute a clear violation of those rights.

What action has the Council taken in order to protest to the Egyptian Government at the above situation
with the aim of ensuring that the trial is cancelled and the accused set free?

Has it informed the Egyptian Government of its view that the legislation should be amended immediately
so as to guarantee full freedom of choice in matters of sexuality for the citizens of that country?

Reply

(10 December 2001)

The Council is keeping close track of developments in the ‘Queen Boat’ case following the arrest of 54
men in Egypt. It raised the human rights situation in Egypt, and in particular the cases of Mr Ibrahim and
Ms El Sadawi as well as the ‘Queen Boat’ case, with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr Ahmed Maher, at
the dinner which followed the signing of the EU-Egypt Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement on
25 June 2001 in Luxembourg.

The Council is also emphasising to its Mediterranean partners that the Barcelona Declaration to which they
have subscribed commits them to act in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and
the United Nations Charter. Article 2 of the Universal Declaration states that everyone is entitled to all the
rights set forth in the Declaration without distinction of any kind. Article 2 of the EU-Egypt Euro-
Mediterranean Agreement also refers to ‘respect of democratic principles and fundamental human rights as
set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which guides the internal and international policy’
of the Parties and constitutes ‘an essential element’ of the Agreement.