7 Arrested After Viral Egyptian Gay Wedding Video

Human rights groups are criticizing Egypt's arrests and treatment of homosexuals.

7 Arrested After Viral Egyptian Gay Wedding Video
Getty Images / David McNew

Seven Egyptian men are behind bars after appearing in a viral gay wedding video.

The minute-long video, which we have chosen not to show for the safety of those involved, shows the alleged grooms hugging, kissing, and exchanging rings. 

Egypt's state-run news agency says authorities are still looking for two other suspects. All of this despite the fact that Egypt doesn't have laws actually prohibiting homosexuality.

One of the men involved in the video spoke to Egyptian television channel Rotana without showing his identity. He said the whole thing was a joke and it was not an actual gay wedding. 

The BBC reports prosecutors have ordered medical testing be performed on the men arrested to identify their sexual orientation. 

Human Rights Watch refers to this kind of testing as, "Invasive, abusive, and a form of torture in itself."

Egypt does have a history long of arresting gay people on charges that include debauchery, violating public decency and defaming Islam. But human rights groups say things have gotten worse since President Abdel-Fattah Sisi came to power earlier this year.

As The Daily Beast put it: "With the resurgence of the police state after last July’s military coup, LGBT people have become the focus of persecution that the Interior Ministry takes pride in publicizing." 

Perhaps the biggest raid came in 2001, when 52 men in a gay night club were arrested and held under anti-debauchery laws. 

Since Sisi's election, there have been numerous mass raids and arrests of gays and lesbians. In April, four men were arrested after signing a lease together and were sentenced to several years in jail. 

The Egyptian prosecutor's office has released a statement saying the men who were recently arrested "violated public decency" and were detained to "protect social values."