Nonetheless, the refugee was sentenced on a slew of charges, including “inciting debauchery” and “solicitation to commit immoral acts in public.” The case comes amid a crackdown on the gay community in Egypt, and also recently on atheists, that has gone hand in hand with a wider campaign against all forms of dissent and diversity in a country gripped by rising nationalism and a militant insurgency.
Numerous human rights organizations have harshly criticized the recent clampdown, which among other things, has led to the arrest of more than 150 Egyptians suspected of being homosexual since President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi took office.
The defendant’s lawyer, Ahmed Hossam, denied allegations that his client engaged in gay sex, and called into question the legality of convicting a person for online activity. The crime was in the imagination of the officer himself. Second, sending personal messages is unconstitutional? Searching an innocent person isn’t allowed according to criminal procedure code in Egypt,” Hossam told the Independent, adding that an appeal for the case was immediately filed.There was no immediate reaction from Egyptian authorities.Illustrative - eight Egyptian men convicted for "inciting debauchery" following their appearance in a video of an alleged same-sex wedding party on a Nile boat leave the defendant's cage in a courtroom in Cairo, Egypt, Nov. (AP/Hassan Ammar, File) A Syrian refugee in Egypt was sentenced Tuesday to a year in prison for allegedly soliciting gay sex over the internet, after police set up a sting operation to catch homosexuals online.The refugee was convicted based on his chat history with an undercover officer from Egypt’s Morality Police, who posed as a gay man on social media, according to a Wednesday report in the Egypt Independent.After arranging to meet with the officer, the man was arrested upon arrival.