33 men wanted for 'gay' crimes after a raid on "debauchery" in Egyptian bathhouse

Published December 9th, 2014 - 02:05 GMT

Thirty-three men have been detained in a police raid in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, for alleged "debauchery," a security official says.

"The police arrested 33 men on Sunday night from a common public bathhouse in the Azbakeya neighborhood of Cairo for practicing debauchery," Major General Ali al-Demerdash, head of the Cairo security directorate, said on Monday.

He added that the arrests came after an order from the prosecutor general.

Egypt has no law outlawing homosexuality. Thus the men were detained because of the debauchery offence instead.

If tried and convicted they could face lengthy prison terms.

Defendants in similar cases have been convicted of debauchery in the past.

In November, a Cairo court handed eight men three-year jail terms each for "inciting debauchery" because of their appearance in an alleged same-sex marriage ceremony video.

In September, six men were arrested and then sentenced to two years in jail for “committing debauchery” after an apartment raid.

Four men were sentenced to prison in April for similar morality charges. And in 2001, Egypt arrested more than 50 men in a raid on a gay nightclub.

Men arrested under suspicion of homosexuality are often sodomized with a "medical test" to determine if they are "habitual" homosexuals.

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