Sign Up for the NEWS newsletter

You have been successfully added to our newsletter.

You will be up to date with all our NBC News updates, including special offers

Let our news meet your inbox

Seven Arrested in Egypt After Raising Rainbow Flag at Concert

Security sources said the seven were arrested for “promoting sexual deviancy,” a euphemism in Egypt for homosexuality.

FILE PHOTO: Person holding a rainbow flagLUKAS COCH / EPA

CAIRO - Egyptian police arrested seven people on Monday after they were seen raising a rainbow flag at a concert, security sources said, in a rare public show of support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights in the conservative Muslim country.

Security sources said the seven were arrested for “promoting sexual deviancy,” a euphemism in Egypt for homosexuality, after they were seen on camera raising the rainbow flag at a Mashrou’ Leila concert, a popular Lebanese alternative rock band whose lead singer is openly gay.

Arab & Queer: Lebanese Singer Pushes Boundaries

03:51

The public prosecutor has not yet announced a decision on whether formal charges will be filed and a case brought to court.

Although homosexuality is not specifically outlawed in Egypt, it is a conservative society and discrimination is rife. Gay men are frequently arrested and typically charged with debauchery, immorality or blasphemy.

The largest crackdown on the LGBTQ community in Egypt took place in 2001, when police raided a floating disco called the Queen Boat. Fifty-two men were tried in the case, which drew widespread criticism from human rights groups and Western governments.

Follow NBC Out on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram