Egypt prosecutor orders 7 held for homosexuality

AP News
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Posted: Sep 06, 2014 2:22 PM
Egypt prosecutor orders 7 held for homosexuality

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's top prosecutor ordered Saturday seven men detained and physically examined over accusations of "debauchery," a charge often leveled at gays, after a video emerged of a same-sex wedding party, the state news agency reported.

A statement from the prosecutor's office said the suspects are also accused of broadcasting footage that "violates public decency," ordering them detained for four days and urging investigators to refer them to trial swiftly "to protect social values and mete out justice."

In Egypt, consensual same-sex relations are not explicitly prohibited, but other laws have been used to imprison gay men in recent years, including "debauchery" or "shameless public acts."

In April, four men were convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison for debauchery after holding parties that involved homosexual acts where women's clothing and makeup were found.

In 2001, Egypt grabbed world attention when 52 men were arrested in a police raid on a Nile boat restaurant and accused of taking part in a gay sex party. After a highly publicized trial in an emergency state security court, 23 of the men were convicted and sentenced to prison terms of one to five years for immoral behavior and contempt of religion.

In the Saturday case, the state news agency said that police are still looking for two more men involved in the incident. The statement described the video, which appeared online, as showing "a devilish shameless party" where two of the men were getting married. The prosecutor said the video dates back to April.

A video on news website Youm7 shows two men in suits putting rings around each other's fingers and hugging as friends celebrate on a boat. The video footage had been edited to conceal the men's faces.