Blog archive: Egypt

  • 23rd November 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Egyptian morality police are systematically using fake social media accounts to target LGBT people, according to a report published yesterday. Out of 232 prosecutions for "non-normative" sexual behaviour over the last four years, 129 – more than half – were the result of entrapment through...
  • 31st October 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A week after Saudi Arabia unveiled plans to build a $500 billion futuristic megacity free from the kingdom's usual religious restrictions, there's confusion over what, exactly, will be allowed. A video presentation last week envisaged men and women working side by side in the new city, women...
  • 26th October 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Amid the continuing moral panic over homosexuality in Egypt, a draft law submitted to parliament proposes not only to criminalise gay sex but also to ban rainbow flags and outlaw almost any kind of social activity involving gay people. The draft law, presented to the Speaker by MP Riad Abdel...
  • 4th October 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    When the sight of a few people waving rainbow flags at a pop concert becomes an act of "moral terrorism", when it plunges a country into hysteria and the government responds by arresting dozens of people on suspicion of being gay and orders the media to show them no sympathy, it's time to ask why...
  • 3rd October 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    When Mashrou' Leila, a Lebanese band whose lead singer is openly gay, performed in Cairo on September 22 several members of the audience waved rainbow flags. Religious leaders, politicians and sections of the Egyptian media were horrified and demanded swift government action. The authorities...
  • 2nd October 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The moral panic over homosexuality in Egypt, which began when several fans at a music concert waved rainbow flags, took a new turn at the weekend when the authorities ordered local media not to show any sympathy for LGBT rights. On Saturday the Supreme Council for Media Regulation – whose...
  • 1st October 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    At least 11 allegedly gay men have now been arrested in the backlash against last month's Mashrou' Leila concert in Egypt, human rights groups say. Mashrou' Leila, a Lebanese band whose lead singer is openly gay, performed at the Music Park Festival in Cairo on September 22 and photos...
  • 29th September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Following last week's music festival in Cairo where some of the fans waved rainbow flags, the Coptic church has plans to "combat homosexuality and offer ways of treatment", according to local media. St Mark’s Cathedral – the seat of the Coptic Pope – is to hold a conference under the...
  • 26th September 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Seven people who waved rainbow flags during a music festival in Egypt have been arrested for “promoting sexual deviancy”. The flags appeared during a performance by the popular Lebanese band, Mashrou' Leila, at the Music Park Festival in Cairo last Friday. Mashrou' Leila is...
  • 2nd August 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A prominent public relations firm which secured a $1.2 million-a-year contract from Egypt's intelligence apparatus – the mukhabarat – has pulled out of the deal after only seven months. In January, New York-based Weber Shandwick signed a deal with Major General Khaled Fahmy, head of the General...
  • 18th July 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Egypt faces multiple security threats, with the continuing Islamist insurgency in Sinai and the bombing of churches not least among them. But the latest threat detected by the ever-vigilant Sisi regime comes from a different direction – from researchers doing surveys. Last November the regime...
  • 23rd June 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Having placed Qatar under economic siege earlier this month – in a row that was triggered by a fake news report – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have now issued a formal list of demands. Qatar has been given 10 days to comply, or face unspecified consequences. The demands –...

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