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Egyptian Journalist Sentenced to Hard Labor for Interviewing Gay Man

Mohamed al-Gheiti
Mohamed al-Gheiti

A court also imposed a fine on the reporter and ordered him placed under surveillance after he serves his sentence.

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An Egyptian broadcast journalist has been sentenced to a year in prison with hard labor for interviewing a gay man.

A court in the city of Giza also imposed a fine of 3,000 Egyptian pounds, the equivalent of $167, on Mohamed al-Gheiti, and ordered him to be put under surveillance for a year after he serves his sentence, Agence France-Presse reports. The punishments were handed down Sunday.

Al-Gheiti had interviewed the man, who talked about his partner and about being a sex worker, on the privately owned LTC channel last August. The man's face was blurred to preserve his anonymity.

Although al-Gheiti has said he opposes homosexuality, he was accused of "promoting homosexuality and contempt of religion," according to AFP. Samir Sabri, the lawyer who filed the complaint against the journalist, said the interview demonstrated there were financial rewards for being gay, the BBC reports.

After the interview ran, Egypt's Supreme Council for Media Regulation took the channel off the air for two weeks, citing "professional violations," AFP notes. LTC had defied a ban on "the appearance of homosexuals or promotion of their slogans," said a statement released by the council at the time. The council imposed that ban after a rainbow flag was raised at a concert in Cairo in 2017. Several men were arrested at the concert and reportedly subjected to forced anal exams.

Al-Gheiti can appeal the sentence, which can be suspended if he pays 1,000 Egyptian pounds in bail pending the outcome of the appeal, Sabri told AFP.

Egypt has been cracking down on LGBTQ people for several years, with mass arrests of those believed to be gay. The country does not specifically outlaw homosexuality, but LGBTQ people are often prosecuted under a vague law banning "habitual debauchery."

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.