Story highlights

Egypt's public prosecutor ordered the arrest Saturday of 9 men on criminal charges

Charges stem from viral video of purported gay wedding

Homosexuality is not overtly outlawed in Egypt

Gay persons can face charges under broadly interpreted "morality" statutes

CNN  — 

Egypt’s public prosecutor ordered the arrest Saturday of nine men on criminal charges of “debauchery” after a social media video purporting to show a gay wedding went viral.

In a statement, the prosecutor’s office accused the men of “debauchery” and “undermining public morals” and ordered a physical examination by a forensic doctor, a common practice in Egypt when arresting homosexuals.

While homosexuality is not overtly outlawed in Egypt, gay people can face criminal charges under statutes that broadly claim to protect social “morality.”

The short video that went viral last week appears to have been filmed at a party on a Nile riverboat and appears to show two men in dark suits exchanging rings. The prosecution’s statement described it as a “satanic ceremony” with images that were “shameful, regrettable and anger God.”

The statement claims the event took place in April, but was only recently posted as an act of revenge against one of the men filmed in the video.

In April, four men were sentenced to prison for similar morality charges. In 2001, Egypt arrested more than 50 men in a raid on a gay nightclub on the Queen riverboat.

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