A very special campaign for our friend and member Shrouk is launched this Wednesday the 24th of November at Gwdihw.
Shrouk will make a public statement to the crowd as well as an evening of music from Little Eris, Gav Music, Alun Battrick and others. She invites anyone interested in supporting her campaign to attend. It begins at 8pm and costs £2 entry fee, all proceeds going towards her campaign.
18 year old gay teenager Shrouk El-Attar is under threat of detention and deportation to Egypt, a country with a record of widespread abuse of gays including torture, arbitrary arrest and imprisonment.
Shrouk El-Attar arrived in the UK in 2007 fleeing 15 years of violence in Egypt. She currently lives and studies in Cardiff. At 16, Shrouk came out as a lesbian, expressing her sexuality openly on Facebook.
In 2010, Shrouk decided to claim asylum as a refugee under the 1951 Geneva Convention to which the UK is a signatory. Her claim for asylum was dismissed by a Tribunal Court on the 25th of October 2010.
On hearing about the dismissal of her claim for asylum Shrouk stated: “I’m terrified about the possibility of being forcibly deported to Egypt. As a gay person, life in Egypt would be impossible for me. I would never be able to express my true self and would have to live my life in hiding.”
Shrouk fears that if she were to return to Egypt she would be persecuted by both the Egyptian authorities and by her own extended family. She is afraid that she will be forced into marriage, suffer Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and risk an honour killing if she resists.
Egyptian law and culture, whilst not legally criminalising homosexuality, regularly persecutes and demonises gay and lesbian people. Criminal charges of sexual and moral depravity and police assault and intimidation are commonplace (1). The Egyptian authorities have stated that, “…homosexuality is socially detested and legally condemned and persecuted”. (2)
The US Department of State 2009 Country Report describes how police have: “targeted homosexual persons and arrested them on charges of debauchery” (3). Many human rights groups have condemned Egypts persecution of gays and lesbians, most notably Human Rights Watch (4).
Lucie Jade from WSSAG said: “Shrouk is a very well known and valued member of WSSAG and she has been an asset to this group many times over, her enthusiasm is infectious and we support her fully in starting an anti-deportation campaign. We encourage others to help in any way they can to keep Shrouk safe in Cardiff.”
How you can help
1. Join the Facebook group
2. Sign the online petition
3. Download, print and get as many people as possible to sign the paper petition
4. Write a letter to the Home Secretary and then encourage your friends, relatives and other contacts to do the same.
You can download a model letter here, adapt it, re-write it or just print and sign it.
Always remember to quote Shrouk’s Home Office reference number: S1391610/2
You can e-mail it to:
Or post it to:
Rt. Hon Theresa May, MP
Secretary of State for the Home Office,
2 Marsham St
Or fax it to:
Fax: 020 7035 4745
(00 44 20 7035 4745 if you are faxing from outside UK)
Please let the campaign know of any action you are taking in support of Shrouk
E-mail her at: firstname.lastname@example.org