Update: men acquitted of ‘debauchery’ will sue T.V. presenter
26 men acquitted of 'debauchery' after arrest in bathhouse - YOUM7

CAIRO: After being acquitted of charges debauchery and taking part in homosexual orgies, 26 men will file a lawsuit against T.V. presenter Mona Iraqi who filmed their arrest, as they were forced to walk naked in the street, and broadcast the footage on her T.V. program, Youm7 reported.

The Azbakya Misdemeanor Court acquitted Monday the men who had been arrested in December in a public bath in Ramses street of Cairo. However, the justification of the ruling has not yet been released.

One of the men’s lawyers, Mohamed Abu Zekry, said he would sue Iraqi, adding that the men would ask for compensation.

On Dec. 17, the Prosecutor General referred the men to trial, and they were subjected to forced medical examinations to discern whether the men had engaged in anal sex, and all but three of the men showed no signs of sexual activity. Medical examinations of this kind have been criticized by human rights group as torture.

Tareq al-Awady, one of the defense team, denied to Youm7 media reports claiming that the men had been sexually attacked during their detention, adding that he visited the men in their jail.

The acquitted men’s relatives rejoiced when the court ruling was announced, ululating to extent that some of those relatives fainted. Meanwhile the men chanted “we are masculine.”

The prosecution claimed the owner of the bathhouse marketed it through social media for the purpose of organizing sexual activity; the defendants, who denied the charges, however, allegedly admitted that they had organized the gatherings in the bathhouse independent of the owner, Youm7 reported.

There is no a specific penalty in the Egyptian code criminalizing homosexuality; those found of engaging in homosexual relationship, however, are often charged with “debauchery.”

Earlier this year, another eight men were sentenced to three years in prison with hard 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.


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