Like a rainbow


Saudi authorities seize rainbow toys in crackdown on homosexuality
Pencil cases, skirts and hats among items targeted for ‘contradicting Islamic faith and public morals’

A TV report shows commerce ministry officials removing rainbow-coloured items from shops in Riyadh. Photograph: Saudi Ministry of Commerce

Saudi officials have been seizing rainbow-coloured toys and clothing from shops in the capital as part of a crackdown on homo­sexuality, state media has reported. The kingdom opened to tourism in 2019 but, like other Gulf countries, it is frequently criticised for its human rights record, including its outlawing of homosexuality, a potential capital offence.

Items targeted in the Riyadh raids include bows, skirts, hats and pencil cases, most of them manufactured for children, according to a report broadcast on Tuesday evening by the state-run Al Ekhbariya news channel.

“We are giving a tour of the items that contradict the Islamic faith and public morals and promote homosexual colours targeting the younger generation,” an official from the commerce ministry, which is involved in the campaign, says in the report.

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