The Old Cairo Misdemeanour Court accepted the appeal of controversial TV presenter Mona Iraqi on Tuesday, reversing her six-month prison sentence and EGP 10,000 fine.
She was previously convicted of spreading false claims concerning a number of men, and accusing them of “debauchery” on satellite TV.
On December 2014, Iraqi was internationally condemned for filming an anti-vice police unit as it raided a Ramses bath house, with the TV show accusing the men filmed of attending a “homosexual brothel”.
Iraqi and the programme’s cameramen were present during the arrests and filmed the police raiding the bathhouse, arresting the defendants and taking them semi-nude to the police station, amid heavy security presence. It was widely believed that Iraqi “tipped off” the police herself.
Iraq said on her personal Facebook page that she will respond to all media personnel who criticised her. She republished the videos of the arrests and sad “this is the evidence of my innocence”.
The arrests, which a number of human rights organisations and LGBT activists described as a “severe violation of personal rights”, were aired and reported by Iraqi on the private “Al-Qahera Wal-Nas” satellite station.
Iraqi and her team went to film the inside of the bathhouse and to ask whether one can invite other people to rent the whole place, hinting at the possibility of organising a same-sex gathering. All the arrested men were later acquitted.
Despite leaving Al-Qahera Wal-Nas and the cancelation of her programme, Iraqi moved to another privately owned channel, Al-Mehwar, where she hosts another investigative show called “Attention!”