Egypt arrests seven over 'gay marriage' video

Egyptian men, accused of having gay sex, cover their faces as they walk into a Cairo court 18 July 2001 (AFP Photo/Andrew Black) (AFP/File)

Cairo (AFP) - Egypt has arrested seven men accused of debauchery for taking part in a "gay marriage" video that spread on social media networks, state news agency MENA reported.

Homosexuality is not included in a list of sexual offences explicitly outlawed by Egyptian law, but it can be punished under several different statutes on morality.

The seven were arrested on Saturday after appearing in a video showing two men celebrating a marriage ceremony and exchanging rings surrounded by friends.

"Nine of the 16 participants were identified in an investigation and seven were arrested," MENA reported, without specifying whether the two men at the centre of the ceremony were among those detained.

The seven were remanded in custody for up to four days, accused of "incitement to debauchery" and "publishing indecent images," MENA said.

Prosecutors have also ordered "medical tests" of the men -- a longstanding practice in Egypt to allegedly identify homosexuals that has been denounced by human rights groups.

As well as facing widespread public prejudice, Egyptian homosexuals have in the past been jailed on charges ranging from "scorning religion" to "sexual practices contrary to Islam".

An Egyptian court in April sentenced four men to up to eight years in prison under anti-debauchery laws targeting homosexuality.