A scene from the alleged wedding video
Eight men who appeared in an apparent gay wedding video have been jailed for three years by an Egyptian court.
The video, reportedly shot in April, was leaked online and shows a group of men celebrating what appears to be a same-sex wedding on a Nile riverboat.
The men were arrested in September and were subjected to anal tests. Shortly after, a spokesman for the police’s forensic department said that the tests had shown that the men are “not homosexuals”.
Human Rights Watch described the arrests as “another assault on fundamental human rights” and accused the Egyptian government of showing “growing disdain for the rule of law.”
On Saturday, the accused were given the three year jail sentence after being found guilty of charges of “inciting debauchery” and offending public morality.
The men denied the charges. According to Reuters, their families, who demonstrated outside the Cairo courthouse, were outraged by the sentences.
The men also face police supervision after their prison sentence. It has not been indicated if they will appeal the ruling.
Same-sex marriage is not legal in Egypt. While homosexuality is not specifically outlawed, gay people are targeted through immorality or public indecency laws.
Last month, six other men were sentenced to two years in prison with labour on charges of “committing debauchery” after they were accused of promoting an apartment on Facebook as a location for gay sex.
The Egyptian authorities are believed to be using social media, including dating apps, to track down and arrest gay men.
Gay hook-up app Grindr has now taken to warning its Egyptian users to exercise caution when setting up dates with other men.