Mona Iraqi, a TV journalist now notorious for cooperating with police during a raid on a downtown Cairo bathhouse, has been sentenced to six months in prison and handed a fine of LE1,600 for defamation and broadcasting false news.
Iraqi coordinated with the police during the raid, which led to the arrest of 26 men in what has become known as the “Ramses Bathhouse” case. The men were arrested on charges of debauchery and public indecency.
Iraqi both filmed their arrest and posted pictures of the men on her official Facebook page afterwards, claiming the defendants were sex workers.
Presenter of a TV show that investigates stories for the Al-Qahera Wal-Nas channel, Iraqi wrote on her Facebook page at the time that she and her crew had discovered “a den of illegal gay sex workers.”
The men were later all found innocent following outrage at the raid and Iraqi’s conduct afterwards.
Human rights activists and social media users broadly condemned Iraqi’s actions and Facebook posts, saying they were a blatant violation of personal rights.
The defendants in the bathhouse case later brought defamation charges against Iraqi following their acquittal and were represented by defense lawyer Tarek al-Awadi.
Awadi told Mada Masr that there could have been no other result in Thursday’s verdict given that the men were acquitted of the accusations that Iraqi brought against them.
This is not the first time Iraqi was sentenced for bad journalism practices this year. In late September, Iraqi was handed another six-month prison sentence for filming someone without their consent.