Last updated: 22 September, 2014

Egypt “gay marriage” video detainees to face trial Tuesday

Eight men arrested in Egypt for appearing in a “gay marriage” video that went viral on the Internet will face trial on Tuesday for inciting debauchery, judicial sources said.

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.

Seven of the nine men identified from the video were arrested on September 6.

They tested “negative” after they were put through controversial medical exams designed to detect whether they were homosexuals.

The eighth suspect was arrested days later.

The detainees include the two men at the centre of the marriage ceremony.

The accused will now face trial starting Tuesday in front of a misdemeanour court on charges of inciting debauchery and offending public morality, an official from the prosecutor’s office said.

The video footage showed a “gay marriage” ceremony aboard a Nile river boat, with two men in the centre kissing, exchanging rings and cutting a cake with their picture on it.

The video went viral on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

New York-based rights watchdog Human Rights Watch has urged Egypt to release the men and condemned tests carried out on them, including “forensic anal examinations”.

Such medical tests have been a longstanding practice in Egypt used by the authorities to allegedly identify homosexuals.

Egyptian homosexuals have in the past been jailed on charges ranging from “scorning religion” to “sexual practices contrary to Islam”.