InternationalSex & Relationship

Egypt court jails belly dancer Sama el Masry for 3 years

Sama el-Masry, says contents of her mobile phone were stolen and shared without consent

A high-profile Egyptian belly-dancer, Sama el-Masry, was sentenced to three years in prison and fined 300,000 Egyptian pounds ($18,500) on Saturday for inciting debauchery and immorality as part of a crackdown on social media postings.

El-Masry was arrested in April during an investigation into videos and photos on social media, including the popular video-sharing platform TikTok, that the public prosecution described as sexually suggestive.

The dancer, 42, denied the accusations, saying the content was stolen and shared from her phone without consent.

Cairo’s Misdemeanours Economic Court on Saturday said she had violated 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 TikTok participants.

Talaat told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that el-Masry and the other female social media influencers were destroying family values and traditions, activities that were banned by the law and the constitution.

El-Masry said she would appeal.

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