Middle East

Egypt arrests 33 men for 'debauchery' in bathhouse raid

Two men at a bathhouse in Cairo, Egypt (file) Image copyright Reuters
Image caption There are few traditional bathhouses, or hammams, still operating in the Egyptian capital

Egyptian police have raided a bathhouse in central Cairo and arrested 33 men on suspicion of "debauchery" - a charge that has been used against gay people.

Homosexuality is not explicitly banned in Egypt but gay people have been arrested under other offences instead.

Last month eight men were jailed for "inciting debauchery'' after video of an alleged gay wedding went viral.

The men face jail terms if convicted. Police raids on Egyptian gay venues have risen in recent months.

The 33 were arrested "for practising debauchery", General Ali al-Demerdash, head of the Cairo security directorate, said.

Among those arrested was the bathhouse owner, AFP reports.

"The bathhouse owner is accused of turning the facility into a site of immoral and indecent conduct and group homosexuality", the agency quotes Mohamed Hetta, head of the local prosecution office, as saying.

Rights groups have condemned Egypt's treatment of gay people, in particular the use of anal testing to determine whether people are homosexual.

Egypt's biggest arrest of homosexuals was in 2001, when 52 men were arrested at nightclub on the Nile in central Cairo.

Related Topics

More on this story