A vicious homophobic campaign is underway in Egypt.
It follows the arrest of seven people alleged to have raised the rainbow flag during a concert on 22 September in the capital Cairo.
According to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) the crackdown has led to over 50 arrests of people across the country based on their sexuality or perceived sexuality.
The Revolutionary Socialists in Egypt are organising in defence of LGBT+ people.
Their statement says, “We totally reject smearing and ostracising LGBT+ people.
“The Revolutionary Socialists declare their support for diversity and difference. We are for the right to live without oppression, persecution and ostracism, and for the right to openly express this diversity.”
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Translation of the full statement from the Revolutionary Socialists, Egypt.
Solidarity against homophobia - no to ostracism and oppression
26 September 2017
The Revolutionary Socialists movement expresses its total rejection of the arrest of seven people following the raising of the rainbow flag, which symbolises pride in diversity, freedom and the acceptance of difference, at a concert on 22 September. We also totally reject the campaigns smearing and ostracising LGBT people. These campaigns are simply an intensification of hatred towards people on the basis of their sexual identity.
The Revolutionary Socialists believe that the real sexual crimes we need to punish are “virginity tests” [forcibly carried out by members of the Egyptian military on arrested women protesters], mass sexual harassment, sexual abuse in prisons and detention centres, forcing women to work in the sex trade and female genital mutilation.
We believe that the systematic campaign waged by the regime’s media against the raising of the rainbow flag at a concert and the arrest of seven people who attended by the security forces is an attempt to divert attention from the real crimes which the forces of repression are committing against society.
These include the impoverishment inflicted on tens of millions of people, the repression which has thrown tens of thousands into prison, and the regime’s gifts of Egyptian territory [in the Tiran and Sanafir Islands] to its allies in the Gulf.
The Revolutionary Socialists declare their support for diversity and difference. We are for the right to live without oppression, persecution and ostracism, and for the right to openly express this diversity.
We stress that freedoms are indivisible and that the struggle for total social and political liberation can only be fought by resisting all forms of oppression and persecution, and by the defence of all those oppressed on grounds of gender, sexual orientation, race, colour or religion.