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  • Rainbow flag waving during a gay pride parade.

    Rainbow flag waving during a gay pride parade. | Photo: Reuters

Published 30 September 2017

Egypt's press regulator said, “homosexuality is a sickness and an embarrassment and it is better to hide it."

Egypt’s press regulator has banned the publication of information about homosexual people in written and audiovisual media from the country.

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The Supreme Council for Media Regulation has announced that considers that “homosexuality is a sickness and an embarrassment and it is better to hide it,” according to an official communique published by the news organization MENA.

The recently-installed state organism said it will “not make propaganda” for homosexuality until “it is cured and ended.” The objective of the new measure is to “preserve the morals and values of society,” according to the communique.

The president of the Council, Makram Mohamed Ahmed, said in the communique that the role of the media is to “report on the danger of this sickness,” in reference to homosexuality.

The decision of the council comes days after six men were detained for waving a rainbow flag at a concert in Cairo, Sept. 22.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have demanded the Egyptian government stop the repression against the LGBTQ community.

Six Egyptian men arrested for "promoting sexual deviancy" and "debauchery" on social media will be subjected to anal examinations ahead of their Oct. 1 trial, Amnesty International said on Saturday.

"The fact that Egypt's Public Prosecutor is prioritizing hunting down people based on their perceived sexual orientation is utterly deplorable. These men should be released immediately and unconditionally — not put on trial," said Najia Bounaim, North Africa Campaigns Director at Amnesty International.

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.

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