Egypt Court Acquits 26 Men Detained Over Hammam “Debauchery”

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Defendants react behind the bars at a court in Cairo following the acquittal on January 12, 2015 of 26 male men accused of "debauchery" after they were arrested in a night-time raid on a bathhouse in the Egyptian capital last month that triggered international concern. AFP/Mohammed el-Shahed

Published Monday, January 12, 2015

An Egyptian court on Monday ordered the release of 26 men accused of “debauchery,” who were detained in December in a night-time raid on a Cairo public bath.

"The court has ruled that all the accused are innocent," the judge said.

The owner of the hammam and his employees were among those who had been arrested. The owner had been accused of turning the facility into a site of “immoral and indecent conduct and group homosexuality."

A pro-government television station showed video of police dragging the half-naked men out of the bath house last month.

Covering their faces with sweaters or hats, they were marched into the courtroom on Monday, a police officer kicking one and urging them to hurry as they approached a cage used to hold defendants during court sessions.

Egyptian law does not expressly ban homosexuality, but gay men are frequently arrested and typically charged with debauchery, immorality or blasphemy.

In the past, homosexuals in Egypt have been jailed on charges ranging from "scorning religion" to "sexual practices contrary to Islam."

The most recent case to make headlines saw eight men sentenced to three years in jail in November after they appeared in an online video purporting to show the country's first gay marriage ceremony.

In April, a court sentenced four men to up to eight years in prison for practicing homosexuality.

Prosecutors had accused them of holding "deviant parties" and dressing in women's clothes. Three were sentenced to eight years and the fourth to three years in prison.

New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned prosecutions of homosexuals in Egypt.

"Over the years, Egyptian authorities have repeatedly arrested, tortured, and detained men suspected of consensual homosexual conduct," it said in September.

It also condemned "forensic anal examinations" which men accused of being homosexuals are forced to undergo.

Egypt's biggest arrest of homosexuals was in May 2001, when 52 men were arrested from the Queen Boat nightclub on the Nile in central Cairo.

Twenty-three of them were sentenced to jail terms up to five years, in a case that sparked international criticism.

(AFP, Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

Comments

Egypt, stay firm against this illness which is being legally spread and encouraged nowadays all over the world! Do not allow liberals to wash your brains yet clear of this disgusting abomination. Whether you believe in Allah or you're Christians, don't forget that God said His words to a MAN and a WOMAN, not to either two men or two women. By legalising this mental disease, greedy rulers of the world want to decrease human's population, in fact. Please, don't bend your heads to the enemies of God and His commandments.

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