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Egyptian TV anchor sentenced to 12 months hard labor for interviewing gay man

The journalist was accused of promoting debauchery and insulting religions

Raul Arboleda/AFP/Getty Images

An Egyptian journalist was sentenced to 12 months of hard labor for "promoting homosexuality," a court ruled Sunday, ABC News reported.

Mohamed El-Gheity, was accused of promoting debauchery and insulting religions after he interviewed a gay man on his show called "Wake Up" on the privately-owned LTC TV station last August.

The gay man, whose face was blurred during the interview, shared details about his life as a sex worker and about his relationship with another man. The guest expressed regret over his being gay and his life as a prostitute, according to BBC News.

Homosexuality is not explicitly illegal in Egypt, but gay people are often persecuted under an anti-prostitution law.

What happened?

Following the interview, LTC was taken off the air for two weeks for violating the Supreme Council for Media Regulation's decree which prohibits gay people from appearing on media outlets, according to reports.

Lawyer Samir Sabry filed the lawsuit against El-Gheity, for revealing the financial gain of practicing homosexuality during the interview, according to the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper.

Sabry has filed multiple similar lawsuits in recent years against celebrities in Egypt including one against actress Rania Youssef over a see-through dress she wore at the Cairo International Film Festival last year. The case was later dropped and the lawyer apologized.

Can El-Gheity file an appeal?

The decision can be appealed but it's unclear whether or not El-Gheity,'s attorney has plans to file an appeal in the case.

Pending the outcome of an appeal, his sentence could be suspended if he paid 1,000 Egyptian pounds ($56) for bail, according to multiple reports.

What else?

El-Gheity was also reportedly fined 3,000 Egyptian pounds ($167). He would also be placed under surveillance for a year after serving his time in prison.

One last thing…
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