An Egyptian misdemeanor court has sentenced TV presenter Mohamed El-Gheity to one year in prison, one year probation, and EGP 3000 fine in a lawsuit filed by lawyer Samir Sabry that charged him with promoting debauchery and homosexuality over an interview with a homosexual man on his TV talk show in September 2017.
The verdict can be appealed and will be suspended if Gheity pays bail of 1,000 pounds pending the outcome of the appeal, as stated by Sabry.
Though El Gheity has expressed his stance against homosexuality, Sabry accused El-Gheity of hinting during the interview that there were financial gains and advantages gained from practicing homosexuality.
In the interview, the man said he was a sex worker and openly discussed his relationship with another man.
Following the incident, Egypt’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation, suspended the channel for two weeks for violating its decision of “banning the appearance of homosexuals or promotion of their slogans”.
The ban was decided after a rainbow flag was waved during a concert in Cairo in 2017, which led to the arrest of at least 22 people.
This is not the first time lawyer Samir Sabry filed lawsuits over moral issues, as he claimed to the New York Times that he have filed more than 2,700 lawsuits over 40 years, targeting actors, clerics, politicians and belly dancers, including the recent Rania Youssef dress incident.
While homosexuality is not outlawed in Egypt, those who identify as homosexuals have previously been charged with debauchery.