Egypt: All 26 men acquitted of ‘debauchery’ in bathhouse case

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

In a case where 26 Egyptian men were accused of “debauchery”, for having gay sex in a Cairo bathhouse, all of the accused have been acquitted.

The men arrested were accused of “perversions” as news reporters told police that the bathhouses were used for “group perversions”. One reporter posted pictures of the dozens of men, mainly naked, being rounded up during the raid and put into vans.

The bathhouse owner was accused by prosecutors of facilitating the “practice, facilitate and incite debauchery.”

Mona Iraqi, a reporter with El Mostakbai, from the Al-Qahira wal Nas channel, wrote on her Facebook page: “With pictures, we reveal the biggest den of perversions in the heart of Cairo.”

According to reports, the forensic teams investigating at the scene had said there was no conclusive evidence that “homosexual acts” had taken place.

All 26 men have now been found innocent of the debauchery charges. The Associated Press reports that the courthouse was “frenzied” after the acquittal was handed down.

Gay rights activists say the past twelve months have been the worst in a long time for Egypt’s gay community.

Althought gay sex is not illegal there, debauchery laws are often used to prosecute those found having same-sex relations.

Eight men who were jailed in Egypt over a video which purportedly showed a mock same-sex wedding recently heard that their appeal verdict will come at the end of this month.

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.