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21 men referred to court over Cairo bathhouse 'debauchery'

Police raided a Cairo bathhouse last week and arrested men for allegedly holding a gay sex party

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din, Wednesday 17 Dec 2014
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Cairo prosecution referred on Wednesday 21 suspects to court on "debauchery" charges.
 
The men were arrested last week in a bathhouse in downtown Cairo for allegedly holding a gay sex party for money. 
 
The owner of the bathhouse is among the 21 defendants referred to the misdemeanor court.
 
Forensics authority spokesman Hisham Abdel-Hameed told Ahram Online that medical tests could not conclude whether the defendants suspects were engaged in "homosexual acts" or not.
 
Although there is no law criminalising homosexuality in Egypt, societal norms do not accept it.
 
The raid on the bathhouse generated a huge controversy in Egypt when private satellite television station Al-Qahera Wal Nas' host Mona El-Iraqi claimed in her show, El-Mestakhab, that she and her investigative team were the ones who reported what was taking place in the bathhouse to the security forces.
 
The TV host was filmed taking photos with her mobile phone of semi-naked men hiding their faces from her. Critics slammed El-Iraqi for a lack of professionalism and violation of ethical codes. El-Iraqi defended her position, claiming that she stressed "professionalism" in her investigation.
 
In November, eight men charged with "debauchery" were sentenced to three years in prison and to three years probation after their release.
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