Africa

No jail for inciting, then publicizing botched Egyptian raid

Egyptian journalist Mona Iraqi (at right, with camera phone) records the police raid on the Bab el-Bahr public bathhouse, with men being herded into a police van, on Dec. 7, 2014. (Screenshot from Mona Iraqi's Facebook page, courtesy of Scott Long)

Egyptian journalist Mona Iraqi (at right, with camera phone) records the police raid on the Bab el-Bahr public bathhouse, with men being herded into a police van, on Dec. 7, 2014. (Screenshot from Mona Iraqi’s Facebook page, courtesy of Scott Long)

BuzzFeed reports:

A Cairo appeals court overturned a judgement [last week] against Egyptian broadcaster in a defamation case brought for her role in publicizing the arrest of 26 men on charges of homosexuality from a bath house in December 2014, local media reported.

Mona Iraqi (Photo courtesy of Scott Long)

Mona Iraqi (Photo courtesy of Scott Long)

The broadcaster, named Mona Iraqi, featured the bathhouse in a television program purporting to tell “the whole story of the dens for spreading AIDS in Egypt” that aired over the course of three nights following the raid. Iraqi claimed to have alerted police to “gay sex parties” being held in the bathhouse, and then posted pictures of the men being dragged naked from the bathhouse during the raid on her Facebook page.

As this blog reported in December 2015:

She had been sentenced to six months in jail for her role in inciting the December 2014 raid, which was an embarrassing misstep in an anti-LGBTI crackdown that began in 2013 and continued at least through September 2015, when 11 supposedly gay men were arrested in a pre-Eid holiday “morality campaign.”

Mona Iraqi (Photo courtesy of Scott Long)

More than 100 allegedly LGBTI people have fallen victim to this police harassment, which is part of a larger pattern of human rights abuses in Egypt targeting political activists, journalists and even some tourists.

BuzzFeed added:

Human rights advocates were stunned when it acquitted the 26 men in a trial last January; no Egyptian court has ever acquitted men accused of homosexuality in a high-profile case. This was a stunning rebuke for Iraqi, who was condemned for her role in the raids even by editors at outlets that also have also sensationalized anti-LGBT arrests.

 

 

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