ARAB rights organisations have condemned the TV broadcast of the mass arrests at a gay Cairo bathhouse earlier this month.
A joint statement on Monday released by 10 organisations from across the Arab world accused Egyptian reporter Mona Iraqi and her crew of colluding with the police force in planning to film the mass arrests — reportedly up to 33 men— and for violating the rights and privacy of those arrested.
After receiving a tip from Iraqi, Cairo Security Directorate’s “morality” police raided the bathhouse at 10pm on Sunday, December 7.
The men are accused of alleged “group practice of deviance” and will face trial on December 21.
Iraqi posted images of the raid on Facebook and wrote, in Arabic: “With pictures, we reveal the biggest den of perversions in the heart of Cairo.”
The images depicted men in handcuffs wearing only bath towels being loaded into police vans. Their faces were unobscured and the images unedited.
In the joint statement, which had the Tunisian Association of Democratic Women, the Arab Foundation for Freedom and Equality, the Coalition for Sexual and Bodily Rights in the Muslim World and Lebanese LGBT rights group Helem among the signatories, anger over Iraqi’s actions was expressed.
“The signatories of this statement strongly condemn what the TV presenter did,” it states.
“She has dishonored the profession of journalism. We affirm that it is she who has violated the law and not the men who were arrested.
“We demand that Mona Iraqi be held legally responsible for abusing her profession to violate these men’s privacy, commit libel and pursue her career without considering the consequences of her actions.”
Iraqi’s posts have since been removed from her page, but not before garnering social media attention.
Part one of the report attracted criticism on her Facebook wall, which was aired on the following Monday after Egyptian police did the arrests of what they publicly referred to as a “network of homosexuality”.
The arrests follow President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s increased statewide crackdown on LBGT people.
In September, Grindr warned Egyptian users that police officers “may be posing as LGBT on social media to entrap” them.