Saudi authorities seize rainbow coloured children's toys for 'promoting homosexuality'

Credit: @alekhbariyatv/Ministry of Commerce

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have raided stalls and shops in the country's capital seizing rainbow coloured children's toys accused of "promoting homosexuality".

State TV shared a news piece of their reporter accompanying Ministry of Commerce officials as they identified the apparently offending toys.

Over ominous music, the video shows shots of a rainbow batman logo on a t-shirt, hair clips and headbands, kids' backpacks, notepads, press on nails and pop it toys. Some of the products bear a Claire's Accessories label.

Homosexuality and same-sex sexual activity is prohibited under Saudi Arabia's Sharia law.

The maximum penalty is the death penalty and both men and women are criminalised under this law.

There is substantial evidence of the law being enforced in Saudi Arabia in recent years, with LGBT+ people being frequently subject to arrest.

Some of those arrested have been executed by authorities but due to the opacity of Saudi Arabia law enforcement, LGBT+ human rights organisations say it is not possible to provide accurate estimates of the number of arrests, prosecutions, and executions.

Some of the items confiscated from the shop, deemed to have promoted homosexuality. Credit: @alekhbariyatv/Ministry of Commerce

In the news report, officials are shown photographing the toys and rifling through items on the shelves.

A growing pile of multicoloured toys litter the floor of the shop, deemed to "bear homosexual slogans with indirect messages" according to the Al Ekhbariya news channel.

The "unannounced inspection tour" around Riyadh were "to control sales outlets that display goods or products containing logos, writings, colours, images or symbols that violate common sense," the channel said.

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The raid on toys comes as the country banned films that depict, or even reference, same-sex love and attraction.

In April, Disney refused to cut "LGBT+ references" in the Marvel film Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness after the kingdom asked for its removal.

The news report published Tuesday showed stills of Benedict Cumberbatch in Doctor Strange.