Seven people arrested for ‘sexual deviancy’ in Egypt after waving Pride flag
Seven people have been arrested in Egypt after authorities accused them of being gay and promoting their homosexuality by flying a rainbow Pride flag at a gig.
Over the weekend, on September 24, a group of people were watching the Lebanese indie rock band Mashrou’ Leila in Cairo.
The singer of the band is openly gay and at the concert, the people waved a Pride flag.
They have since been wrongfully arrested and charged with “inciting immorality” as they allegedly promoted homosexuality by raising the flag.
Homosexuality is not prohibited by law in the country, however, the conservative society thinks of it as a taboo.
The authorities are trying to convict the group under charges of “immorality” and “debauchery”, which is usually how they convict sex workers.
The band was playing at the Cairo city festival and had obtained all of the required permits to do so.
They have been banned from performing in the country ever again.
Reza Ragab, the deputy head of the official musicians union, said that they were disappointed it took place “on Egyptian soil”.
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“We are against gay art,” Ragab said. “It is depraved art.”
The band has said that it was an “honour to play to such a wonderful crowd.”
Police often carry out large raids to arrest people accused of homosexuality.
In 2001, the country cause controversy as 52 men were arrested on a floating boat nightclub on the Nile.
A trial was then launched, drawing global attention.
Half of the men were sentenced to prison time, a move widely criticised by human rights groups.