Egypt refers 26 men arrested in raid on bath house to trial for suspected homosexuality

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An Egyptian official says prosecutors have referred 26 men arrested in a raid on a bath house to trial on charges connected to their suspected homosexuality.

The prosecution official said Wednesday the trial will begin Sunday, a quick referral in a case that has captured public attention following the men's televised arrest.

Scenes of half-naked men escorted by policemen out of the bath house in Cairo on Dec. 7 were filmed by a private TV channel and later aired amid criticism from activists. Many in the public were also stunned by the widely circulated pictures of the bathers covering their faces from cameras.

Egyptian law doesn't explicitly prohibit same-sex relations. So the defendants are tried for "debauchery."

The official spoke anonymously because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.