Be the most informed person in the room with Newsy's free e-newsletter

View our privacy policy:
Trump's Conflicts of Interest
Featured Series: Trump's Conflicts of Interest
Donald Trump's international web of businesses creates unprecedented potential for conflicts of interest and corruption. And some picks for his administration might have to face their own...

Egypt Jails Eight Men Over 'Gay Wedding' Video

Eight Egyptian men have been sentenced to three years in jail for "debauchery" after appearing in a video of an alleged gay wedding ceremony.

Eight Egyptian men have been sentenced to three years in jail for appearing in an online video which supposedly showed a gay wedding ceremony.

The men were arrested in September after this video, which shows two men exchanging rings and kissing during a boat party on the Nile, went viral. The defendants denied being gay and argued the video has been misrepresented.

Egypt's laws don't explicitly prohibit homosexuality, but prosecutors often target gay Egyptians under vague "debauchery" charges and morality laws. Ahram Online notes six allegedly homosexual men were convicted to lengthy jail terms under the same laws in September.

Homosexuality has always been a taboo practice in Egypt, but multiple sites have noted an increase in anti-gay arrests since Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi wrested power from the Muslim Brotherhood. Activists estimate 85 people have been detained and accused of being gay over the past year.

One BBC analyst suggests Sisi is cracking down on Egypt's gay community to shore up conservative support for his administration.

"He, as you know, was instrumental in removing the Islamists from power. And perhaps he wants to show that he's just as conservative as they are. ... But also, it's a time-honored way for the authorities in Egypt to distract attention from other problems."

The defendants in Saturday's trial also face three years of probation in addition to their jail time. They can appeal the verdict.

Featured Stories
Activists opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline march in Washington, D.C.

Trump Signs Actions To Push Along Keystone XL, Dakota Access Pipelines

Mike Pompeo and Rex Tillerson

Pompeo Confirmed For CIA Head, Rex Tillerson Approved By Senate Panel

Donald Trump

Clean Energy Or Fossil Fuels? The President And The Country Disagree

Want to see more stories like this?
Like Newsy on Facebook for More Coverage