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Egyptian court hands down suspended sentences, fines to 16 accused of homosexual acts

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din , Tuesday 28 Nov 2017
Egyptian court
Egyptian court
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Egypt's Azbakeya Misdemeanors Court has handed down three-year suspended sentences and fines of EGP 5,000 to 16 people found guilty of "debauchery" and "forming a network for homosexual acts".

The court issued 13 of the sentences on Sunday and another three on Tuesday, with all 16 released from custody on bail. The 16 defendants can appeal against the ruling.

In September, police raided a flat near Cairo's Ramses Square and arrested several men discovered in "indecent positions", according to the prosecution.

The prosecution said that the defendants had solicited other men for sex in return for money in the Ramses area. The defendants had sexual photos and chats on their mobile phones, say prosecutors. However, the defendants denied being homosexuals.

The prosecution ordered that the suspects be subjected to medical examinations to determine if they had committed homosexual acts.

According to prosecutors, a number of young men who had frequented the Ramses flat had raised the "rainbow" LGBT flag at a concert featuring Lebanese rock band Mashrou’ Leila in September.

In September and October, police arrested several people on suspicion homosexuality and of raising the flag, which is an international symbol of “LGBT pride”.

Pictures of fans raising the flag at the concert went viral on social media and caused a storm of controversy on Egyptian TV talk shows.

While consensual homosexual acts are not explicitly criminalised under Egyptian law, people accused of homosexuality have been convicted on charges such as debauchery, prostitution and violating public morals.
 

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