Amazon has bowed to pressure from the United Arab Emirates and restricted search results for LGBTQ-related products such as books and rainbow-coloured flags on its website in the country.
According to media reports, Amazon decided to restrict the searches after being threatened with penalties by the UAE government.
“As a company, we remain committed to diversity, equity and inclusion, and we believe that the rights of LGBTQ+ people must be protected,” an Amazon spokesperson told the BBC.
However, they added: “With Amazon stores around the world, we must also comply with the local laws and regulations of the countries in which we operate.”
Amazon's restrictions in the UAE come on top of recent news from Saudi Arabia, where rainbow-coloured toys and children’s clothing were seized because it was claimed encourage homosexuality.
What's life like for LGBTQ people in the United Arab Emirates?
What's life like for LGBTQ people in the United Arab Emirates? Let's take a look at some of the key equality indicators.
Is it legal to be gay?
There are seven separate Emirates that come together to form the United Arab Emirates. The penal code of the United Arab Emirates specifies that same-sex sexual relations between men is an offence punishable by death.
Is there anti-discrimination legislation in place?
No protection — it is illegal to be gay.Is there marriage equality?
No equality — it is illegal to be gay.
What’s life like for LGBTQ people who live in the United Arab Emirates?
It is illegal to be gay.Internet access is restricted and monitored. This greatly inhibits LGBT people to identify and community with each other, or access information about LGBT issues or topics of interest.