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Egyptian Police Arrest 7 for Raising Rainbow Flag at Concert


The pro-LGBT demonstration occurred at a performance by Mashrou' Leila, which has a gay frontman.

A group of people were arrested for raising a rainbow flag -- at a concert for a band with a gay lead singer.

Reuters reports that Egyptian police detained seven on Monday in Cairo for "promoting sexual deviancy," after they were caught on-camera waving the symbol of LGBT Pride at the Friday concert. Security sources, who spoke under condition of anonymity, said they "raised the flag of homosexuals."

Charges have not yet been filed against the demonstrators, but an investigation is underway.

Mashrou' Leila, the Lebanese rock band performing, has a gay lead singer, Hamed Sinno, who is an outspoken activist for LGBT rights. The band tweeted the following after the incident:

A public demonstration like the public waving of rainbow flags would be rare in the Muslim nation, whose queer people face legal hurdles and societal stigma. Although homosexuality is technically not illegal in Egypt, laws against "debauchery" and offending public morals are frequently used to prosecute and persecute members of the LGBT community.

Notably, in 2015, a late-night raid of a Cairo bathhouse led to the arrests of 26 men. In 2014, reports surfaced that Egyptian police were using Grindr as part of an ongoing "witch hunt" to ensare and entrap gay men.

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