CAIRO: One of 26 men who were acquitted on charges of debauchery in January after being arrested from a public bathhouse called Bab Al-Bahr tried to burn himself to death, according to his Lawyer Tarek el-Awady Sunday.
“The people’s looks and words have bothered me since the beginning of the case, even my relatives and friends seem to be more focusing in my movements. My brothers insist to be with me everywhere is go, almost I lost my freedom,” the acquitted man, who refused to mention his name told Al-Watan Sunday.
Thirty-tree men were arrested in a public bath Dec. 7 on charges of inciting debauchery and taking part in homosexual orgies. The Azbakya Misdemeanor Court presided by Judge Ihab Kamal acquitted the men after subjecting to the medical examinations.
Awady assured that he didn’t know his tried would try to burn himself to death; he only informed him that he was sick, and would not be in the court during the session of their case against television anchor Mona Iraqi.
After being acquitted of charges debauchery, the 26 men filed a lawsuit Iraqi who filmed their arrest as they were forced to walk naked in the street, and broadcast the footage on her T.V. program, igniting a huge public reaction to the case.
“She is the one who made this to be. She is the reason I got to this point,” The man said.
BBC Arabic reported last December the testimony of an eyewitness saying “shortly before the arrival of the security forces to the bath, a female journalist and a photographer were standing in front of the public bath.”
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, Iraqi delayed the episode until 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.
Social media users have started a hash-tag in Arabic translating to “Try Mona Iraqi,” demanding she be questioned for the damages she may have caused to those men’s lives.
Awady wrote on his Facebook account Sunday that the young man is suffering poor psychological state. He has been in the hospital for 8 days, suffering from burns in hands and legs.
Although there are no specific laws against homosexuality in Egypt, those accused of same-sex relations are often arrested under a broader umbrella of “debauchery” or “immoral actions,” the same charges that would apply to heterosexual couples who were caught having extra marital relations.