December 8, 2014 / 4:07 PM / 3 years ago

Egypt arrests 26 men over bath house "orgy"

CAIRO, Dec 8 (Reuters) - Egyptian police detained 26 men in a raid on a Cairo bath house after receiving a tip that they were holding gay orgies, a security source said on Monday.

After the men were taken away overnight, a public prosecutor said they would be held for four days pending a decision on whether to press formal charges of debauchery.

Though homosexuality is not specifically outlawed in Egypt, it is a conservative society and discrimination is rife. Gay men are frequently arrested and typically charged with debauchery, immorality or blasphemy.

The most recent case to make headlines saw eight men sentenced to three years in jail last month after they appeared in an online video purporting to show the country's first gay marriage ceremony.

The largest crackdown on homosexuals in Egypt took place in 2001, when police raided a floating disco called the Queen Boat. Fifty-two men were tried in the case, which drew widespread criticism from human rights groups and Western governments. (Reporting by Lin Noueihed; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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