The Dokki Misdemeanour Court acquitted on Saturday two men accused of practising homosexual acts and inciting debauchery, according to local media and the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR).
According to the investigations, they were referred to court after being arrested as police staged an ambush. The defendants allegedly used social media to connect with other partners, whom were later revealed to be undercover police officer, a technique often used by the “vice police” department (which is responsible for arresting defendants charged with crimes related to sexuality, “moral violations”, or indecency) to lure in gay individuals and proving the act.
The Egyptian law does not directly forbid homosexuality, but arrests have taken place citing charges of “violating the teachings of religion and public morals.”
Saturday’s acquittal comes as a campaign against the LGBT community since the pride flag was raised during a concert by Lebanese rock band Mashrou’ Leila.
On 2 September, the same court sentenced a student to a six-year imprisonment and an EGP 300 fine for allegedly “practising debauchery”.
Public controversy erupted over the acceptance of homosexuality and gay people’s rights, where public and religious figures, as well as local media, led a fierce campaign against the issue, calling for punishment to those who raised the flag, while other members of the parliament called for preparing a law to “punish homosexuals”.