Egyptian TV host is jailed for interviewing gay man

Egyptian TV host Mohamed al-Gheiti

An Egyptian TV host has reportedly been jailed for a year for interviewing a gay man on his show—despite being anti-gay himself.

TV host Mohamed al-Gheiti, a presenter on the LTC TV station, was accused of promoting homosexuality and contempt of religion following the interview last year, reports SBS News.

The presenter, who has spoken out against gay people in the past, was sentenced to 12 months in jail at a court hearing on Sunday (January 20), according to a judicial source, reports SBS News.

TV host is accused of promoting homosexuality

Al-Gheiti was also fined 3,000 Egyptian pounds (£130) and will be put under surveillance for a year after his release, according to Samir Sabri, the lawyer who took him to court.

Sabri reportedly said that the ruling could be appealed, adding that it could be suspended if al-Gheiti pays 1,000 Egyptian pounds (£43) to be bailed depending on the outcome of the appeal.

Egyptian men who were accused of having gay sex. An Egyptian TV host has been jailed for interviewing a gay man

Fifty-two Egyptian men, accused of having gay sex, cover their faces as they leave prison to the state security court in Cairo 15 August 2001. (ANDREW BLACK/AFP/Getty)

In August 2018, al-Gheiti interviewed a gay man on his private TV station to discuss homosexuality.

The gay man had his face blurred throughout the interview and said he was a sex worker.

He also talked about his relationship with another man.

TV host’s channel suspended for two weeks after interview with gay man

Egypt’s leading media regulator, the Supreme Council for Media Regulation, suspended LTC TV station for two weeks for “professional violations” following the interview.

The council said in a statement at the time that the channel had violated its ruling on “banning the appearance of homosexuals or promotion of their slogan.”

The Egyptian government had been in the process of a crackdown on the LGBT+ community at the time.

Egypt has not specific law banning homosexuality.

However, the government has a number of provisions to criminalise any behaviour that is deemed immoral.

In October 2017, police raided homes and arrested more than 60 people under debauchery laws after a Mashrou’ Leila fan waved a rainbow flag at a gig in Cairo.

In 2001, 52 men were arrested and accused of having gay sex on a floating boat nightclub on the Nile, with some of them jailed over the incident.

Many Egyptians in the country think that homosexuality is wrong.

A 2013 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 95 percent of Egyptians believe that homosexuality should not be accepted by society.