Journalist behind Cairo ‘gay bath house’ raid faces defamation charges

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A journalist who led a “sting” on 26 men she accused of “perversions” for attending what she said was a gay bath house in Cairo now faces court herself charged with defamation.

The men arrested were accused of “perversions” as journalist Mona Iraqi 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.”

All 26 men were later acquitted.

Now, the prosecution has approved charges against Iraqi including defamation.

She will also face charges of publishing false news, libel and defamation. Preliminary hearings will take place on 5 April.

The lawyer defending the accused men, who is also behind the lawsuit against Iraqi said Iraqi and the channel which broadcast footage of the raid were unrepentant.

Despite that all of the men were acquitted, one victim earlier this week attempted to burn himself to death because of the repercussions for being named in the lawsuit.

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.