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Egypt arrests seven over ‘gay marriage’ video

/ 06:56 PM September 07, 2014

In this July 18, 2001, file photo, two of 52 men accused of breaking laws covering obscenity and public morality cover their faces as they enter a state security court for their trial, in Cairo, Egypt. On Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, Egypt’s top prosecutor has ordered seven men detained and physically examined over accusations of “debauchery,” a charge often leveled at gays, after a video emerged of a same-sex wedding party. In a statement Saturday, the prosecutor said the suspects are also accused of broadcasting footage that “violates public decency,” ordering them detained for four days pending an investigation. AP PHOTO

CAIRO — Egypt has arrested seven men accused of debauchery for taking part in a “gay marriage” video that spread on social media networks, state news agency MENA reported.

Homosexuality is not included in a list of sexual offences explicitly outlawed by Egyptian law, but it can be punished under several different statutes on morality.

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The seven were arrested on Saturday after appearing in a video showing two men celebrating a marriage ceremony and exchanging rings surrounded by friends.

“Nine of the 16 participants were identified in an investigation and seven were arrested,” MENA reported, without specifying whether the two men at the center of the ceremony were among those detained.

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The seven were remanded in custody for up to four days, accused of “incitement to debauchery” and “publishing indecent images,” MENA said.

Prosecutors have also ordered “medical tests” of the men — a longstanding practice in Egypt to allegedly identify homosexuals that has been denounced by human rights groups.

As well as facing widespread public prejudice, Egyptian homosexuals have in the past been jailed on charges ranging from “scorning religion” to “sexual practices contrary to Islam.”

An Egyptian court in April sentenced four men to up to eight years in prison under anti-debauchery laws targeting homosexuality.

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TOPICS: arrest, Egypt, Homosexuality, marriage, Rights
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