An Egyptian reporter who orchestrated a raid on a ‘gay’ bathhouse has been sentenced to six months in jail.
Mona Iraqi was also fined EGP10,000 ($1,277; €1,207) by a Cairo court on Thursday (26 November) for defamation and spreading false news.
In December last year, Iraqi tipped off police to an alleged gay hammam – which she claimed was a ‘den of male sex’ – and filmed as 33 men were arrested and paraded naked out of the bathhouse.
The footage was then broadcast on the Al Kahera Walnas channel and made international headlines.
Twenty-six men, including the bathhouse owner and four employees, were tried for debauchery but later cleared due to lack of evidence – although not before they were forced to undergo intrusive and humiliating anal examinations and one man attempted suicide by setting himself on fire.
Same-sex sexual activity is not explicitly banned in Egypt but gay men are routinely arrested for debauchery, which is punishable by up to 17 years in prison with or without hard labor and fines.
Iraqi has refused to apologize despite widespread condemnation.
A lawyer for the men said they intend to sue her for compensation.