Eight men who were arrested in Egypt for appearing in a ‘gay marriage’ video will face trial for inciting debauchery, judicial sources said today (22 September).
Egyptian police have been cracking down on the LGBTI community in recent weeks, using dating apps like Grindr to entrap and arrest people.
Gay people are normally punished for ‘fujur’, the law banning sexual excess or debauchery. Courts interpret this to mean homosexuality.
Earlier this month, seven of the nine men were arrested and are believed to have been forceably ‘tested’ for homosexuality. It is alleged these were the anal probe tests, which have no conceivable way of telling if a man is gay, and is deemed to be a form of torture. The men tested ‘negative’.
The eighth suspect was arrested days later.
An official from the prosecutor’s office told the AFP the accused will stand trial in front of a misdemenaor court on charges of inciting debauchery and offending public morality. They are believed to face trial tomorrow (23 September).
A total of 16 men were seen in the video, showing two men in the centre kissing, exchanging rings, and cutting a cake.
One of the unnamed suspects appeared on Egyptian TV with host Tamer Amin to explain the video. He said he was straight and the video did not depict a gay wedding. The video was supposed to be a joke, and it was actually for a friend’s birthday.
Human Rights Watch urged Egypt to release the men and condemned news of the forced tests, saying they ‘violate international standards against torture’.