Controversial journalist Mona Iraqi faces defamation charges for bathhouse raid

Reporter Mona Iraqi is now facing charges of defamation and spreading false news for her controversial filming of a bathhouse raid in December, according to news website Youm7.
The journalist is set to attend a preliminary hearing with the Misdemeanors Court on 5 April along with Tarek Nour, the owner of the privately-owned channel Al Kahera Wal Nas that airs her TV program.
Iraqi received intense criticism when she colluded with police to raid a bathhouse near Ramses, accusing the 26 men inside of “debauchery”, a blanket legal term for homosexual activity. As the naked men were being escorted out of the bathhouse by the police, Iraqi filmed the ordeal for her undercover TV program “Al-Mostakhbai”.
Iraqi spun the episode as a public safety campaign in conjunction with World AIDS Day to help protect Egypt by ridding it of places like the bathhouse, which she called a “den for spreading AIDS”.
The group of men were then forced to undergo anal exams by the Forensic Authority as proof of their homosexual activity. The exams were used as evidence in court and the men were later declared innocent.
Nonetheless, many of the men say they still suffer from psychological trauma caused by Iraqi's public declaration of their sexuality. Tarek Al-Awady, the lawyer who defended them in the case, says one of the men set himself on fire due to constant societal pressure, Al-Watan reported.
The man spoke to Al-Watan while receiving treatment in one of Cairo's public hospitals, saying his family had begun to restrict his movements and keep him under constant surveillance. He said he no longer had any freedom and was constantly publicly humiliated. “I work in a restaurant in Shobra,” the man told them. “I’m constantly verbally harassed at work and have to see the looks in their eyes.”
The acquitted man added that the lawyer encouraged the men to press defamation charges against Iraqi.

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