Egyptian authorities have arrested six
men accused of waving a rainbow flag, a symbol of LGBT pride, during
a pop concert in Cairo and are likely to conduct anal examinations on
According to the UK's
the men have been charged with “debauchery” and “promoting
The flag waiving took place during a
concert by Lebanese band Mashrou' Laila, whose lead singer, Hamed
Sinno, is openly gay. Several countries, including Amman and Jordan,
have banned the group from performing. The band said that Egypt
could be next.
The men's trial started on Sunday.
Amnesty International called the
“The fact that Egypt's Public
Prosecutor is prioritizing hunting down people based on their
perceived sexual orientation is utterly deplorable,” said Najia
Bounaim, North Africa campaigns director at Amnesty International.
“These men should be released immediately and unconditionally –
not put on trial.”
“Forced anal examinations are
abhorrent and amount to torture,” she added. “The Egyptian
authorities have an appalling track record of using invasive physical
tests which amount to torture against detainees in their custody.”
Human Rights Watch also called on
authorities to free the men.