Popular Egyptian belly-dancer, Sama el-Masry, was awarded three-year imprisonment and fined 300,000 Egyptian pounds (£15,000) on Saturday (June 27) for inciting debauchery and immorality through her posts on social media.
El-Masry was arrested in April after the Egyptian government launched a crackdown on social media, including Chinese video-sharing platform TikTok. The crackdown was launched to curb the postings of content which the public prosecution described as sexually suggestive.
Sama El-Masry, 42, rejected the accusations, saying the content was stolen and shared on social media from her phone without her permission.
While announcing the verdict, a court in Cairo found El-Masry guilty of violating family principles and values in Egypt as well as establishing, managing and using sites and accounts on social media with the aim of committing “immorality”
“There is a huge difference between freedom and debauchery,” said John Talaat, a member of parliament who asked for legal action against el-Masry and other female participants of social media.
El-Masry said she would appeal the verdict.
In 2018, a cyber crime law was passed by the Egyptian government giving full full authority to censor the internet and exercise surveillance of communications.
El-Masry became famous after doing commercial movies such as “Ala Wahda W nos” which addressed the exploitation of female media workers. She also starred opposite singer Mahmoud al-Lithy.
Masry was slammed heavily for her Youtube videos in which she criticized the Muslim Brotherhood. She also produced a video in which she mocked former US President Barack Obama in 2013.