Egyptian police have arrested as many as 33 people for raising rainbow flags during a concert by Mashrou' Leila.
On 25th September, someone at a Mashrou' Leila concert in Egypt flew a rainbow flag. Since, 33 LGBT people have been arrested.— Edward Siddons (@edwardsiddons) October 2, 2017
When images of the flag surfaced on social media and drew criticism from politicians and media figures, Public Prosecutor Nabil Sadek ordered authorities to investigate. Reda Ragab, deputy head of the Egyptian Musicians Syndicate, said they would be taking steps to ensure that Mashrou' Leila never performs in Egypt again.
We are a religious, conservative society, an identity we need to preserve.This is a scandal against our traditions and far from serious and meaningful art.
Seemingly, the "incident" is now a pretext for LGBT crackdown by what increasingly resembles a police state.— Edward Siddons (@edwardsiddons) October 2, 2017
For what? For flying a flag.
The scale of the latest arrests highlights how dangerously entrenched homophobia is within the country. Instead of stepping up arrests and carrying out anal examinations, the authorities must urgently halt this ruthless crackdown and release all those arrested immediately and unconditionally.