Amnesty condemns Egypt convicting 16 men for 'debauchery'

CAIRO - Amnesty International has condemned an Egyptian court's sentencing of 16 men to three years in prison each on 'debauchery' charges and urges authorities to overturn the ruling.

Najia Bounaim of the Britain-based rights groups says the sentences were another example of Egypt's ongoing persecution of homosexuals and the LGBT community.

She said on Tuesday that Amnesty considers the prosecution violated "the rights of these men to be treated equally, regardless of their perceived sexual orientation." At least five of them were subjected to forced anal examinations.

According to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, at least 76 people across Egypt have been arrested based on their perceived sexual orientation following the display of a rainbow flag at a Sept. 22 concert by Arab rock band Mashrou Laila in Cairo.

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