22 Jan 2019

TV host jailed in Eygpt for interviewing gay man

11:13 am on 22 January 2019

An Egyptian TV presenter has been sentenced to one year of hard labour for interviewing a gay man last year.

Egyptian TV presenter Mohamed al-Ghiety.

Egyptian TV presenter Mohamed al-Ghiety. Photo: Photo / supplied

A court in Giza also fined Mohamed al-Ghiety 3000 Egyptian pounds ($249) for "promoting homosexuality" on his privately-owned LTC TV channel.

The gay man, whose identity was hidden, had talked about life as a sex worker.

Homosexuality is not explicitly criminalised in Egypt, however, the authorities have been increasingly cracking down on the LGBT community.

They routinely arrest people suspected of engaging in consensual homosexual conduct on charges of "debauchery", immorality or blasphemy.

The most recent case came about after lawyer Samir Sabry, who is well known in Egypt for taking celebrities to court, filed a lawsuit against Ghiety for his interview, which took place in August 2018.

The TV host, who has voiced homophobic views on a number of occasions, spoke to a gay man who expressed regret over his sexuality and described life as a prostitute.

The man's face had been blurred to conceal his identity.

Egypt's top media body, the Supreme Council for Media Regulation, immediately took the channel off air for two weeks, citing "professional violations".

The prosecuting lawyer, Mr Sabry, accused the TV host of revealing there to be financial gains of "practising homosexuality", state-owned al-Ahram newspaper reports.

In addition to the jail term and fine, the misdemeanours court also ordered Ghiety to be put under surveillance for one year after serving his sentence, Mr Sabry said.

The verdict could be appealed against and suspended if Ghiety paid bail of 1000 Egyptian pounds, pending the appeal's outcome, he said.