Homosexuality is not illegal in Egypt but authorities often use laws banning debauchery to persecute gay people. The sentencing has drawn the criticism from human rights groups around the world.
"Egypt is a bellwether state in the Arab region; what happens in Egypt sets a trend for developments throughout the Arab world," said U.S. based group Human Rights First.
Egypt is not the only country with laws targeting gays. Ten countries still have laws that make homosexuality punishable by death: Yemen, Iran, Iraq, Mauritania, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates.