An Egyptian court has sentenced eight men to three years in jail on charges of spreading indecent images through a video purporting to show the country’s first gay marriage ceremony.
The video, filmed aboard a Nile riverboat, shows what prosecutors said was a gay wedding, with two men in the centre kissing, exchanging rings and cutting a cake with their picture on it.
The court also sentenced the eight men to three years of probation once they have served their terms.
One of the defendants, prior to their detention, told a television talk show that the video was recorded during a birthday party.
The arrests were the latest in a string of highly publicised police raids on suspected gay people in the country, prompting a US-based social networking application used by gays to urge caution to users in Egypt.
Homosexuality is not specifically banned under Egyptian law, so the men, arrested in September, were convicted of broadcasting images that “violated public decency.”
A statement from the office of Egypt’s chief prosecutor in September said the video clip was “shameful to God” and “offensive to public morals”.
The sentence was met with uproar from the families of the defendants, who demonstrated outside the court in central Cairo and were cleared away from the area by police.
The defendants, who had denied the charges, stood silent in the court room cage as the verdict was read, one of them holding up a copy of the Quran.
One defence lawyer, Emad Sobhi, insisted that the court had caved in to popular pressure in the country.
“My clients are innocent of practicing homosexuality,” he told the AFP news agency. “The court succumbed to public opinion.”
In the past, homosexuals have been jailed on charges ranging from “scorning religion” to “sexual practices contrary to Islam,” the country’s dominant religion.
In April, a court sentenced four men to up to eight years in prison for practicing homosexuality.
Prosecutors had accused them of holding “deviant parties” and dressing in women’s clothes. Three were sentenced to eight years and the fourth to three years in prison.
US Election: Trump Claims Victory Hours After Saying Biden Won
The President of the United States, Donald Trump, has declared himself the winner of the US Election 2020.
President Trump declared himself the winner of the US election in a tweet on Monday morning, November 16 by simply tweeting: “I won the election.”
I WON THE ELECTION!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2020
This came hours after he tweeted that his opponent Joe Biden “won because the election was rigged.”
He won because the Election was Rigged. NO VOTE WATCHERS OR OBSERVERS allowed, vote tabulated by a Radical Left privately owned company, Dominion, with a bad reputation & bum equipment that couldn’t even qualify for Texas (which I won by a lot!), the Fake & Silent Media, & more! https://t.co/Exb3C1mAPg
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2020
The latest vote tallies project Democratic candidate, Biden a clear winner in the state-by-state Electoral College that decides the presidency, with 306 votes against Trump’s 232.
However, President Trump has remained defiant, continuously claiming he won the election free and fair.
Former Ghana President, Jerry Rawlings Is Dead
Jerry Rawlings, a former Ghanaian president has reportedly died from suspected COVID-19 complications.
The former Ghanaian leader died at Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, capital of Ghana on Thursday morning.
Rawlings led the country first as a military ruler and then as a democratically elected president between 1981 and 2001.
Rawlings initially rose to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant in the Ghana Air Force, following a coup détat in 1979.
After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took control again in December 1981 as Head of State.
He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years.
Rawlings left office in 2000 after exhausting Ghana’s constitutional term-limit of eight years for Presidents.
US Election Is Far From Over — Trump
Shortly after Biden was projected winner, Trump in a defiant statement expressed that the election was “far from over” and criticised Biden for “rushing to falsely pose as the winner.”
“Biden has not been certified as the winner of any states, let alone any of the highly contested states headed for mandatory recounts, or states where our campaign has valid and legitimate legal challenges that could determine the ultimate victor.
“Legal votes decide who is president, not the news media.
“Beginning Monday, our campaign will start prosecuting our case in court to ensure election laws are fully upheld and the rightful winner is seated.
“The American people are entitled to an honest election, that means counting all legal ballots, and not counting any illegal ballots,” Trump said.
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