Home / Transitional Justice Project / Court Case Spotlight
Implications for Rights and Freedoms

Cairo Bathhouse Raid Case

Court / Presiding Judge

Azbakeya Mismdemeanour Court/Judge Ihab Aziz

Procedural History

On January 12, 2015, the Azbakeya Misdemeanour Court issued its sentence.

Verdict

The court acquitted all 26 defendants of all charges.

Summary of Reasoning

This case dates back to the arrest of 26 men at a bathhouse in Cairo for practicing “debauchery.” The men had been arrested during a raid on the bathhouse on December 7, 2014. The men were eventually acquitted of all charges.

Anecdotal Notes

On the day of the arrests, television anchor Mona Iraqi claimed to have tipped off police about the alleged homosexuality occurring at the bathhouse and also ran photos of the accused persons, thus implicating their rights to privacy. Later, authorities subjected the men to forensic anal examinations when conducting investigations about the case. Mona Iraqi was, in a separate case, sentenced to six months in prison for “defamation” and “spreading false news” in January 2016 for her involvement in this case; however, in February 2016, and upon appeal, she was acquitted of both charges.

Legal & Judicial Implications

Although homosexuality is not explicitly illegal under Egyptian law, the state has often criminalized it through charges like debauchery.The spike in debauchery arrests and charges during Sisi's presidency raises serious questions regarding Egypt's commitment to preserving an individual’s right to privacy, freedom of expression, and right to be free from discrimination. Allowing the television station to film and broadcast the arrested men also represents a serious violation of their privacy rights, due process rights, and rights to be protected from defamation. Further, the anal examinations that the men were subject to have been condemned internationally and are considered a form of torture and/or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment under international law.