26 suspected gays go on trial for ‘debauchery’
Security forces - YOUM7/Amr Moustafa

CAIRO: Azbakya Prosecutor General Mohamed Hetta referred Wednesday 26 Egyptian men to trial over accusations of “debauchery,” according to Youm7.

Thirty-three men were arrested in a public bath Dec.7 on charges of inciting debauchery and taking part in homosexual orgies. They were referred to forensic investigation, which reportedly proved the accusations through medical reports.

Investigations revealed that the bath owner was running the bath, through social media networking, for money while the defendants, who denied the charges, have confessed that they are running the place for their own benefit, according to Youm7.

Cairo security head told France press Dec.8 that the procedures were legal from the begging and that police forces had permission from the prosecution before storming the bath.

In the same context, BBC Arabic reported a testimony of an eyewitness saying “shortly before the arrival of the security forces, a female journalist and a photographer were standing in front of the public bath.”

That female journalist was revealed later to be television Presenter Called Mona Iraqi, who was recording the arresting process in order to present it in her program broadcast on a privately-owned TV channel.

Former director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, Hossam Bahgat, criticized Iraqi on his Facebook page saying that although she knew what was happening inside the public bath, and that she was going to announce the details during her show, Iraqi delayed the episode until the security forces stormed the bath.

”it’s a win-win situation for both, the presenter who will take the video for her show, and the security making a new fabricated distracting story,” said Bahghat.

Earlier this year, another eight men have been sentenced to three years in prison with labor for appearing in a video allegedly celebrating a gay marriage on a boat on the Nile in September.

The defendants were charged with incitement to debauchery and violation of public decency.

“Egypt does not explicitly criminalize same-sex sexual relations between consenting adults, but same-sex marriage is not legal, and authorities have routinely arrested people suspected of engaging in consensual homosexual conduct on charges of debauchery,” HRW noted in a press release on Sept. 9.

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