World

Defense lawyers for 26 men on trial after televised Egypt bathhouse raid criticize prosecution

Defense lawyers for 26 men on trial in Egypt after being arrested in a televised raid by police officers looking for gays at a public bathhouse have criticized the prosecution's case, saying it is based on a faulty investigation.

Lawyers made the comments in Cairo courtroom Sunday. They say the case has defamed their clients and their families, endangering their lives in conservative Egypt.

While consensual gay and lesbian relationships are not specifically outlawed in Egypt, there is a societal taboo against same-sex couples. The 26 men on trial after last month's raid face charges including debauchery and performing indecent public acts.

On Sunday, distraught family members shouted to the defendants as they left court, telling them to "raise their heads" in pride. Their trial will resume Monday.