Friday 19 July 2019

TV star in Egypt jailed for gay sex worker interview

Egypt has waged a crackdown on homosexuality in recent years (stock photo)
Egypt has waged a crackdown on homosexuality in recent years (stock photo)

Nick Allen

An Egyptian court has sentenced a television presenter to a year in prison for interviewing a gay sex worker on his chat show.

Mohammed el-Gheiti was found guilty of encouraging immorality following a segment in which the guest described his profession.

El-Gheiti was also fined 3,000 Egyptian pounds (€150). He can appeal and is free pending a final verdict.

Egypt has waged a crackdown on homosexuality in recent years, imprisoning people on vague charges of "debauchery".

Homosexuality is not a crime but is widely seen as taboo in the conservative, Muslim-majority country, while prostitution is illegal.

In September 2017 dozens of people were arrested after an LGBT rainbow flag was waved at a Cairo concert.

Charges against El-Gheiti stemmed from a complaint filed by Samir Sabry, a lawyer who has previously taken other high profile Egyptian media figures to court.

The interview was broadcast in August on the LTC TV channel, which is privately owned.

El-Gheiti himself has previously expressed his opposition to homosexuality.

The interviewee had his face disguised and spoke about how he regretted being a prostitute.

Irish Independent

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