TV Host Sentenced to a Year in Jail for Interviewing Gay Man

Egyptian TV presenter interviewed gay sex worker
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2019 1:08 PM CST
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / DanHenson1)

(Newser) – An Egyptian TV presenter will do a year of hard labor because he interviewed a gay man. Mohamed al-Ghiety was jailed as well as fined the equivalent of $167 for "promoting homosexuality" after an interview with the sex worker, whose identity was hidden, aired last year on Ghiety's privately owned LTC TV channel. While homosexuality is not explicitly criminalized, Egypt often cracks down on it, charging people suspected of engaging in consensual homosexual activity with blasphemy or debauchery. In this case, lawyer Samir Sabry filed a lawsuit against Ghiety over the August 2018 interview, the BBC reports.

Interestingly, the BBC notes that Ghiety "has voiced homophobic views on a number of occasions," and says the man he interviewed was regretful of his sexuality. But Egypt's media council banned homosexual people from media appearances in 2017, and the court sided with Sabry, who accused Ghiety of revealing that there are financial gains (via prostitution) of being homosexual. The channel was also taken off the air for two weeks after the interview due to "professional violations." Ghiety, who can appeal the sentence, was also ordered to be put under one year of surveillance after his sentence is over. (Eight men in Egypt were once sentenced to three years in prison for celebrating a gay wedding.)

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