ADDED ON: 09/26/2018

One Year on from Rainbow Flag Arrests, Egypt Continues LGBT Crackdown

09/24/2018 | Reuters

On 22 September 2017, the rainbow flag was waved at a music concert in Cairo. A brutal crackdown on LGBT+ people followed quickly – clearly designed to intimidate and to erase the pride so bravely on show at the concert. In the one year since the rainbow flag event, the human rights record of the Egyptian regime has only deteriorated. Last year’s crackdown started after a few people attending a music concert by Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila waved a rainbow flag. Over 35,000 concertgoers showed up to see the band and two other Arab bands perform. During the show, fans were photographed waving a rainbow flag – the universal symbol of LGBT+ pride – in solidarity with the group. The government responded quickly. The group was immediately banned from playing in the country, and Egyptian authorities launched what activists and human rights observers believe is the most severe crackdown on the country’s LGBT+ community. Those arrested were charged with “promoting sexual deviancy”.

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