Egyptian TV host sentenced to 1 year behind bars for interviewing gay guest

An Egyptian television host has been sentenced to one year of hard labor in prison after interviewing a gay man on his privately-owned television channel in 2018.

The court in Giza also fined Mohamed al-Ghiety $167 and ordered he be put under surveillance for one year after serving his sentence.

The punishment was handed down after Ghiety interviewed a gay man on his television show. The man’s identity was hidden and was talking about life as a sex worker.

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Authorities in Egypt have been cracking down against the LGBTQ community.  They have been arresting people suspected of engaging in consensual homosexual activity and charging them with “debauchery,” immorality or blasphemy, the BBC reported.

Lawyer Samir Sabry, who is well known in Egypt for taking celebrities to court, came after Ghiety for the interview he conducted in August 2018.

Ghiety, who has made many homophobic comments in the past, was immediately taken off the air for two weeks by Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation – the country’s top media body- which cited “professional violations” for the reason.

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Sabry accused Ghiety of revealing there might be financial gains of “practicing homosexuality,” like working as a sex worker.

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Egypt’s media council banned homosexuals from appearing on any media outlet after a rainbow flag was raised at a 2017 concert in Cairo. Shortly after that display, there was a crackdown on “suspected homosexuals” with dozens of people being sent to prison.