A Cairo court sentenced Thursday controversial TV presenter Mona Iraqi to six months in prison for spreading false claims concerning a number of men, accusing them of “debauchery” on satellite TV.
On her much criticised television programme ‘Al-Mistikhabi’ (The Hidden), Iraqi, who also has to pay an EGP 10,000 fine, was internationally condemned for filming an anti-vice police unit as it raided a Ramses area bath house, and falsely accusing the men filmed of being in a brothel and participating in homosexual activity.
Four of the defendants, including the owner of the bath house, were charged with “running a place that organises paid sexual orgies”, while another 21 faced charges of debauchery. The latter group also underwent intrusive anal examinations by the prosecution’s Forensic Department to determine whether they were “habitual” homosexuals. All men were later acquitted.
A report by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) claims that since the ouster of former president Mohammed Morsi in 2013, at least 150 individuals have been arrested on charges of debauchery.
Gay rights activists have stated that the attitude towards homosexuality is worse now than under the Muslim Brotherhood rule of 2012-2013.