Appeal verdict for 'gay wedding video' set for 27 December

El-Sayed Gamal El-Din, Sunday 16 Nov 2014

Eight men were convicted to three years in jail after appearing in alleged same-sex wedding video

The appeal verdict for eight Egyptian men charged with debauchery after appearing in an online video of an alleged gay wedding will be handed out on 27 December, Cairo's misdemeanour court said on Sunday.

In November, the defendants were sentenced to three years in jail, and three years' probation after their release, for taking part in a Nile boat wedding celebration featuring two men as the bridge and groom. The video went viral on social media sites.

Egypt's Prosecutor-General Hisham Barakat watched the video and confirmed that the footage was of two men getting married.

In early September, a man who said he had appeared in the video denied the allegations, telling private TV channel Rotana Masriya that he was holding a birthday party for his friend and got him a silver ring as a gift.

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 after the arrests 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.

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