CAIRO: The Azbakya Misdemeanor Court rejected a challenge against the acquittal of 26 men who were charged with debauchery and taking part in homosexual orgies, Youm7 reported Monday.
The original acquittal was handed down Jan. 12. In the Egyptian justice system, both acquittals and guilty verdicts are usually appealed. If the prosecution chooses to challenge the acquittal again, it would have to take the case to the Court of Cassation, the verdicts of which are final. The judgments in most cases, however, once upheld after a challenge, are not appealed again.
On Dec. 17, the Attorney General referred the men to trial, and they were subjected to forced medical examinations to discern whether they 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.
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.