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Egyptian Men arrested for flying rainbow flag during rock concert subjected to anal examinations

By Ross Semple

Six men who were arrested this week for waving the rainbow flag at a concert in Egypt were subjected to anal examinations.

The men were arrested amid a crackdown on LGBT people and were accused of “promoting sexual deviancy” and “debauchery” after sharing images of rainbow flags being flown during a rock concert on social media.

While homosexuality isn’t explicitly criminalised under Egyptian law, police arrest people suspected of engaging in consensual homosexual conduct.

Yesterday (September 30), the six men allegedly told Amnesty International that they would be facing anal examinations ahead of their trial today (October 1), the Independent reports. 

The examinations, which have been dismissed by doctors as “worthless” and classed as torture, were ordered by Egypt’s Forensic Medicine Authority and have been condemned by Amnesty International.

Najia Bounaim, the North Africa Campaigns Director at Amnesty International, said: “The fact that Egypt’s Public Prosecutor is prioritising hunting down people based on their perceived sexual orientation is utterly deplorable.”

“These men should be released immediately and unconditionally – not put on trial. Forced anal examinations are abhorrent and amount to torture. The Egyptian authorities have an appalling track record of using invasive physical tests which amount to torture against detainees in their custody.”

She adds: “All plans to carry out such tests on these men must be stopped immediately.”



The flags were flown last weekend during a concert by Mashrou’ Leila, a Lebanese alternative rock band. The band’s lead singer, Hamed Sinno, is openly gay and is known for being an LGBT advocate.

Detectives allegedly scanned CCTV footage to identify people they thought were responsible for flying the flags and later arrested six men. If found guilty, the six men could face up to two years in jail.

Egyptian media described the incident as a “scandal,” with one MP calling it a “disaster” and “contrary to religious values and behaviour.”



Many people also expressed anger over the band’s concert, and it sparked rumours that western governments are trying to force Egypt to legalise same-sex marriage.

In response to the controversy, Reda Ragba, the deputy head of the Egyptian Musicians Syndicate, has revealed they’re planning on banning Mashrou’ Leila from performing in the country.

Speaking to the Daily News Egypt, Ragab said: “We are a religious, conservative society, an identity we need to preserve. This is a scandal against our traditions and far from serious, meaningful art.”


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