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Egypt prosecutor orders 7 held for "debauchery"

The men are accused of broadcasting footage that violates public decency

AP, Ahram Online, Sunday 7 Sep 2014
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Egypt's top prosecutor ordered Saturday seven men detained and physically examined over accusations of "debauchery," a charge often leveled at gays, after a video emerged of a same-sex wedding party, the state news agency reported.

A statement from the prosecutor's office said the suspects are also accused of broadcasting footage that "violates public decency," ordering them detained for four days and urging investigators to refer them to trial swiftly "to protect social values and mete out justice."

In Egypt, consensual same-sex relations are not explicitly prohibited, but other laws have been used to imprison gay men in recent years, including "debauchery" or "shameless public acts."

In April, four men were convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison for debauchery after holding parties that involved homosexual acts where women's clothing and makeup were found.

In 2001, Egypt grabbed world attention when 52 men were arrested in a police raid on a Nile boat restaurant and accused of taking part in a gay sex party. After a highly publicized trial in an emergency state security court, 23 of the men were convicted and sentenced to prison terms of one to five years for immoral behavior and contempt of religion.

In the Saturday case, the state news agency said that police are still looking for two more men involved in the incident. The statement described the video, which appeared online, as showing "a devilish shameless party" where two of the men were getting married. The prosecutor said the video dates back to April.

A man, who said he was one of those who appeared in the video, denied all the allegations in an interview with privately-owned Rotana Masriya TV channel earlier in September.

He said he was holding a birthday party for his friend and got him a silver ring as a present because it was something he wanted.

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