As part of an anti-LGBTQI campaign, Saudi authorities removed thousands of rainbow-colored toys from children’s stores, claiming they would encourage homosexuality, reports the British newspaper The Independent.
“Officials from the Ministry of Commerce went to shopping malls in the capital, Riyadh, to confiscate […] toys, hair clips, beauty items, clothes, hats, notebooks, pencil cases and other trinkets,” indicates the daily.
On Twitter, the Saudi Ministry of Commerce shared a video showing two officials walking through stores to inspect brightly colored products before heaping them on the floor.
An official claims in this video that articles bearing the colors of the rainbow have a connotation “homosexual” and “target the younger generation”. The ministry points out that the objects were seized because they “contain symbols and signs encouraging deviation”.
Stores selling them would face legal penalties, he warns.
The campaign comes after authorities in Qatar announced last December that they had confiscated rainbow-colored toys from stores.
Saudi Arabia has no laws regarding sexual orientation or gender identity. But relationships outside marriage, including homosexuality, are punishable by flogging and even the death penalty.