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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
- Egyptian Journalist Mona Iraqi Jailed For Defaming Men in Cairo Gay Bathhouse Raid (Dec. 1, 2015, Towle Road)
- Instigator of anti-gay Cairo raid sent to prison (Dec. 2, 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Journalist behind ‘gay bath house’ raid sentenced to six months in jail (Nov. 30, 2015, Pink News)
- 20 LGBTI-related arrests in Egypt, Indonesia (September 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Egypt’s LGBTI crackdown continues; what can be done? (March 2015, 76crimes.com)
- Egyptian Reporter Mona Iraqi And Her Channel Owner To Face Criminal Charges Over Gay Bathhouse Raid (February 2015, Towle Road)
- Slew of arrests in Egypt (76crimes.com)
- Egypt: 8 imprisoned on anti-gay charges, 23 for protest (76crimes.com)
- 8 jailed on homosexuality charges in Morocco, Egypt (76crimes.com)
- Political tactics underlie Egypt’s ‘gay wedding’ arrests (76crimes.com)
- Crackdown on LGBT Egyptians: Why now? (76crimes.com)
- Another 10 anti-gay arrests in Egypt (76crimes.com)
- Seeking public approval, Egyptian police arrest 14 for gay sex (76crimes.com)