The Public Prosecution ordered late Monday an appeal on the verdict of the acquittal of the 26 defendants in the ‘Ramsis bathhouse’.
On Monday, the Azbakeya Court acquitted all the defendants, after they faced charges of debauchery and organising “same-sex orgies”, citing a lack of clarity in the case papers and the forensic department’s report.
The court added that although the report announced that three of the defendants were “sexually assaulted”, it was not clear whiter the incident took place inside the bathhouse or not.
The defendants were arrested on 7 December, when a force from the Egyptian anti-vice police raided the bathhouse.
The acquittal verdict was positively by activists and human rights commentators.
Solidarity with Egypt LGBT, a campaign to reach out to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) movements and individuals worldwide about LGBT issues within Egypt, welcomed the verdict. The campaign, however, stressed that the “real fight” should be directed to Article 9 of Law 10/1961.
The law criminalises “debauchery” and prostitution, and is used to convict people accused of engaging in homosexuality.
Tarek Al-Awadi, the defendants’ lawyer, told Daily News Egypt that he was expecting the verdict. He also vowed to file a lawsuit against investigative journalist Mona Iraqi who reported and filmed the arrests. He said that Iraqi accused the defendants of “engaging in same sex relations, without waiting for the court’s decision”.
Al-Awadi also announced on his Facebook page the possibility of filing another lawsuit against the police officer who led the arrests.
Since the arrests, social media users launched a hashtag on twitter calling for the trial of Iraqi, amid wide criticism waves of her journalistic performance.
During the Monday State Department Daily Press Briefing, deputy spokesperson for the US Department of State Marie Harf told reporters: “We welcome the court’s decision that brought this case to a just conclusion; obviously we continue to stress the importance of protecting the human rights of all Egyptians.”