Egypt court imprisons belly dancer in social media crackdown for ‘debauchery’

Muhammad UsmanMultimedia Journalist

29th Jun, 2020. 12:30 am

Sama El-Masry, a prominent Egyptian belly-dancer, was sentenced to three years in prison and fined 300,000 Egyptian pounds ($18,500) on Saturday for promoting debauchery and immorality as part of a crackdown on social media posts.

El-Masry was arrested in April during an investigation into social media videos and images, including the famous TikTok video-sharing site, which was identified as sexually provocative by the public prosecution.

The 42-year-old dancer refuted the allegations, saying the material was taken without permission and posted from her camera.

“There is a huge difference between freedom and debauchery,” said John Talaat, a parliament member who has demanded legal action against El-Masry and other TikTok female members.

Several women in Egypt have previously been accused of “inciting debauchery” by challenging conservative social norms in the country, including actress Rania Youssef after criticism of her 2018 Cairo Film Festival dress choice.


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