Egyptian Court Acquits 26 Men Accused of Debauchery

Egyptian Court Acquits 26 Men Accused of Debauchery

Kareem Fahimjan, New York Times

12 January 2015
CAIRO — A Cairo court on Monday acquitted 26 men accused of “debauchery” in a case that was seen as evidence of an intensifying crackdown on gay men by the government of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi.

The men were charged in December after the police raided a Cairo bathhouse, apparently tipped off by an Egyptian television host who filmed the raid. The reasons for the acquittal were not immediately released.

Lawyers for the defendants argued that the debauchery charge — used in prosecutions in Egypt, where gay sex is not explicitly illegal — was vague and unconstitutional, according to Islam Khalifa, one of the lawyers.

The defendants had also been subjected to forensic anal exams, a practice condemned by human rights groups and ridiculed by medical experts but regularly used in such proceedings.

Featured Image: The defendants attempted to cover their faces as they were brought into the courtroom. Copyright: Reuters

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