• 10:04
  • Thursday ,18 December 2014
العربية

Egypt sends men arrested over "gay bath house orgy" to trial

By Aswat Masriya

Home News

00:12

Thursday ,18 December 2014

Egypt sends men arrested over

The Azbakiya Prosecution referred to the misdemeanour court on Wednesday 26 men arrested last week over holding a "gay bath house orgy".

The vice police raided a bath house in downtown Cairo's Ramses neighbourhood last week, arresting those inside.

The prosecution accused the bath house owner and four others of running the place to "practice, facilitate and incite debauchery." The 21 other men were accused of "debauchery" and violating public decency.

The men are scheduled to face court on December 21.

The men accused of running the bath house could face up to nine years in prison, while the remaining defendants could face up to four years.

The incident was reported to the police by a journalist who discovered the bath house when working on a report on the spread of HIV in Egypt.

Egypt has recently clamped down on homosexual activities, arresting in September eight men who appeared in a Youtube video depicting an alleged homosexual marriage ceremony.

The Qasr al-Nil Misdemeanour Court sentenced the eight men to three years in prison on charges of inciting debauchery and violating public decency in November.

The trial was condemned by domestic and international civil society organisations. International watchdog Human Rights Watch had called for the defendants' release. The organisation condemned the Egyptian authorities' "persecution" of men "suspected of homosexual conduct" in a statement released on September 9.

Human Rights Watch condemned the physical examination the defendants were subjected to, saying it "violates international standards against torture." Men arrested for alleged homosexual behaviour usually undergo anal examination.

In 2001, 52 men were arrested in Egypt after the police raided a Nile boat restaurant where the men were said to be engaging in a "gay sex party", dubbed as the Queen Boat Trials. Twenty-three of the defendants were sentenced to prison for "immoral behavior and contempt of religion."

Article 9 of the 1961 Anti-Prostitution Law punishes those guilty of "inciting debauchery and immorality" by imprisonment for a period ranging from three to five years.