Egypt sentences six men convicted of homosexuality to 2 years in jail

Ahram Online , Thursday 25 Sep 2014

The court says the men were arrested in a flat they use to host homosexual activity

Egyptian security flank 52 suspected homosexual men accused of sexual immorality as they arrive at a Cairo court November 14, 2001.(Photo:Reuters)

An Egyptian court on Thursday sentenced six allegedly homosexual men to two years in jail with labour on charges of "committing debauchery," a judicial source told Ahram Online.

The men, also fined LE200 each (approximately $30), were arrested during a raid on an apartment. According to authorities, the two of them were caught "red-handed."

The court said the men, including a Moroccan national, were promoting their apartment as a location for homosexual activity through Facebook, charging $200 a night.

Same-sex consensual homosexual conduct is not explicitly criminalised by Egyptian law, but same-sex marriage is not legal. Nonetheless, homosexuals have been arrested and punished in the past on morality charges under several laws, including debauchery, immorality or contempt of religion.

Eight men were put on trial earlier this week for appearing in a video purportedly showing a gay marriage over allegations of "inciting debauchery." The video shows a party aboard a Nile river boat where two men exchange rings and kiss, surrounded by cheering friends.

The defendants, arrested earlier in September also over "inciting debauchery,” tested negative in controversial medical examinations conducted to detect homosexuality.

New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch has condemned their arrest as an "assault on fundamental human rights” and criticised the medical examinations conducted by authorities. 

In one of the most recent cases, four men were sentenced to up to eight years in prison after being convicted of committing homosexual acts.

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