Police arrests student, contractor for organizing concert for homosexuals in Giza

A student who manages a company organizing concerts based in Egypt’s Giza was arrested on Saturday over charges of organizing a concert allegedly to be attended only by homosexuals in the Giza district of Kerdasa, and for spreading “debauchery”.

According to local media reports, a contractor who owns the property where that the concert was planned to take place also faced arrest.

The preliminary investigations revealed that the student rented a place for the sake of having a musical concert where only homosexual people would attend. He then went to meet the owner of the land when police arrived and arrested both of them.

The concert was planned to take place on Saturday night.

Both defendants were interrogated and then released over debauchery charges and organizing a concert without a permit from authorities, according to local media reports.

In September 2017, a crackdown was imposed against LGBT individuals in Egypt, with dozens arrested after a rainbow flag was waved at a Mashrou Leila concert in Cairo. The Lebanese rock-band, whose lead singer is openly-gay, was banned from performing in Egypt by the Music Syndicate.

The arrests marked the largest crackdown since 2001, when a high-profile raid on the Queen Boat – a gay-friendly club on the Nile – saw 52 men arrested.

Also in December 2017, the education ministry initiated an urgent investigation into textbook cartoons which “support homosexuality in the educational curricula,” after cartoon illustrations showed two fathers and two mothers performing the role of parenting.

In 2017, The Supreme Council for Media Regulation (SCMR) in Egypt released an order to ban all forms of support towards the LGBT community in media outlets.

Homosexuality is not illegal in Egypt. But in the late 1990s, the police stepped up the use of two old laws – a 1950 anti-prostitution law and a 1961 law against “debauchery” – to arrest and charge the practicing LGBT community. The highest-profile action was a raid in Cairo in 2001 on the Queen Boat, a gay-friendly club on the Nile, where 52 men were arrested.

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