- Title: Friends, supporters mourn death of Egyptian LGBT+ activist
- Date: 18th June 2020
- Summary: UNDISCLOSED LOCATION (JUNE 18, 2020) (REUTERS VIA ZOOM) (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SARAH HEGAZI'S LAWYER AND FRIEND, MOSTAFA FOUAD, SAYING: "At a time like this, with the pain and sadness one experiences, I would usually call Sarah to tell her 'I am exhausted.' She used to save me. Now Sarah is no longer here."
- Embargoed: 2nd July 2020 22:24
- Keywords: Activist Egypt Egypt LGBT LGBT Sarah Hegazy Vigils gay human right lesbian rainbow flag
- Location: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM / NEW YORK, U.S.A / UNDISCLOSED LOCATION / INTERNET
- City: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM / NEW YORK, U.S.A / UNDISCLOSED LOCATION / INTERNET
- Country: Various
- Topics: Society/Social Issues
- Reuters ID: LVA009CIWFCCN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Candlelight vigils were held in London and New York following the death of a high profile Egyptian LGBT+ activist who sought asylum in Canada after being jailed for waving the rainbow flag.
Sarah Hegazy, 30, was found dead in her apartment in Toronto where she had been living in exile for about 18 months and struggling with depression, one of her lawyers Ali el-Halawany confirmed on Monday (June 15).
Hegazy rose to prominence in October 2017 when she was arrested after raising the LGBT+ rainbow flag at a concert by popular Lebanese alternative rock band Mashrou'Leila band whose lead singer Hamed Sino is openly gay.
It was a rare public show of support for LGBT+ rights in the conservative Muslim country.
Hegazy was the only woman arrested in a three-week anti-gay crackdown by authorities, and she was charged and detained with "promoting sexual deviancy and debauchery," a charge she denied.
After she was released on bail in January 2018 she sought asylum in Canada.
LGBT+ rights activists paid tribute to Hegazy, circulating a handwritten message attributed to her and written before her death.
Her lawyer and friend, Mostafa Fouad, said the 30-year-old was often bombarded with messages of hate, some of which continued even after her death.
"In her letters from jail, and the diary entires she wrote in prison, she used to say 'The world will only change through love," he said.
Although homosexuality is not a crime in Egypt, discrimination against the LGBT+ community is rife. Gay men are frequently arrested and typically charged with debauchery, immorality or blasphemy.
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