Egypt court sentences 8 men to 3 years in jail for appearing in 'gay wedding' video
The eight men appeared in an online video that appeared to show two men celebrating their wedding
El-Sayed Gamel El-Din, Saturday 1 Nov 2014
File Photo: Egyptian security flank 52 suspected homosexual men accused of sexual immorality as they arrive at a Cairo court November 14, 2001 (Photo: Reuters)
Qasr Al-Nil Misdemeanour Court on Saturday sentenced eight men to three years in prison on charges of "debauchery", and to three years probation after their release.
The men convicted were shown appearing to take part in a Nile boat wedding celebration featuring two men as the celebrants. The video went viral on social media sites.
A man who said he was one of those who appeared in the video denied the allegations in an interview with privately-owned Rotana Masriya television channel in early September. He said he was holding a birthday party for his friend and got him a silver ring as a birthday gift.
Prosecutor-General Hisham Barakat watched the video and confirmed that the footage was of two men getting married, a statement from the prosecution said.
The defendants have been detained since early September as per an order from Egypt's prosecutor-general to investigate charges of debauchery and spreading acts that violate public decency.
Consensual same-sex relations are not explicitly prohibited in Egypt, but other laws have been used to imprison gay men in recent years, including charges "debauchery" or "shameless public acts."
Egypt's forensics authority announced earlier this month that the defendants had undergone physical inspections and were found to be "not gay."
In a different case in September, an Egyptian court sentenced six allegedly homosexual men to two years in jail with labour for the same charges of "committing debauchery."
The six men were arrested during a raid on an apartment.