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Two Egyptians released on bail over rainbow flag incident

Ahram Online , Tuesday 2 Jan 2018
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A Giza criminal court on Tuesday accepted the appeal of two individuals detained over the raising of a rainbow LBGT pride flag at a Cairo rock concert in September, ordering their release on EGP 2000 bail each.

The decision accepted their appeals against a High State Security Prosecution 15-day detention order pending further investigation. The two have been detained since October.

Among the charges presented to Hegazy and Alaa by the prosecution were joining of an illegal group and promoting debauchery in a public space.

Alaa is a university student while Hegazy is a human rights activists for gender issues.

The case centers on an incident in which fans of the Lebanese progressive rock band Mashrou Leila, whose lead singer is openly gay, raised the rainbow flag at a Cairo concert last September.

Pictures of the concertgoers raising the flag went viral on social media and caused a storm of controversy on Egyptian TV talk shows.

Several lawyers filed complaints at the prosecutor general's office, who decided to open an investigation into the incident as well the concert.

Alaa and Hegazy were among dozens arrested in the aftermath of the incident.

While consensual homosexual acts are not explicitly criminalised under Egyptian law, people accused of homosexuality have been convicted on charges such as debauchery and violating public morals.

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