Egyptian authorities arrest seven people for allegedly raising rainbow flags at a concert

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Police in Egypt have arrested seven people after they were allegedly seen raising rainbow flags at a concert in Cairo last week.

The seven were detained on Monday for “promoting sexual deviancy”, but have not yet been formally charged. According to reports, prosecutors opened an investigation after images from the concert by the Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila – whose lead singer is openly gay went viral.

Homosexuality is not explicitly criminalised under Egyptian law. But the authorities routinely arrest people suspected of engaging in consensual homosexual conduct on charges of “debauchery”, “immorality” or “blasphemy”.

The raising of the rainbow flag was a rare public show of support for the LGBT community in the conservative Muslim country.

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