Egypt reduces jail time for men in ‘gay wedding’ video

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

Several men who were jailed for appearing in a video which appeared to show a mock same-sex wedding have had their jail sentences reduced at appeal.

The men were arrested in September, after a video leaked online appearing to show an unofficial same-sex wedding ceremony on a riverboat in the Nile.

A clip from the party was posted in April, but had gone viral in Egypt recently, with many calling for the men to be identified and put to death.

All of the men were jailed last month on charges of spreading indecent images and inciting debauchery, despite reports that ‘doctors’ who subjected the men to intrusive tests for homosexuality had found that they were not gay.

However, Cairo’s misdemeanour court heard an appeal from the men – who claim they did nothing wrong and that the ceremony was a joke.

The court has now reduced their sentences from three years each to one.

The families of the men accused of debauchery, reportedly wept at the handing down of the new sentence.

Homosexuality is not specifically outlawed in Egypt, but it is feared that the police are cracking down on the gay community after a surge in raids and arrests earlier this year.

People are increasingly tried under debauchery laws, in order for officials to get around the fact that homosexuality is not currently illegal.

In April, a court sentenced four gay men to jail sentences of up to eight years for “debauchery”, after they threw a party.

52 men were arrested in a raid on a ‘gay’ party in 2001, with 23 of the men receiving prison terms.