Debauchery-accused given leave to appeal by Egyptian court

A court in Cairo, Egypt, on Sunday released 17 people arrested for practising homosexuality.

A court in Cairo, Egypt, on Sunday released 17 people arrested for practising homosexuality.

The mass arrest came during a crackdown by authorities, judicial officials said.

The group of 17 were charged with practising homosexuality and inciting debauchery. They were fined 5 000 Egyptian pounds ($285) or three years in prison.

The group were given leave to appeal the sentence in a higher court.

Homosexuality is not specifically outlawed in Egypt, but it is a largely conservative society and discrimination is rife, with gay men often arrested and charged with debauchery, immorality or blasphemy.

In October, security forces arrested 57 people in a crackdown after a rainbow flag was seen waving at a music concert.

The majority of those arrested were not involved in the flag incident but suffered due to the fallout of the incident in subsequent days. They were arrested for their perceived sexual orientation.

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