Actress Dina El-Sherbiny has been barred from acting by Egypt's Actors Syndicate.
El-Sherbiny served one year in prison on a drug related case. Following her release, the syndicate announced she would be unable to pursue a career as a professional actress due to the law governing syndicates.
Article 6 of the artistic syndicates law states that those who have been convicted based on a criminal charge or a case that affects virtue are not allowed to resume their profession, except by judicial decree.
A number of Egyptian actors and artists released a statement in support of El-Sherbiny, condemning the article, while also highlighting that El-Sherbiny is not a member of the syndicate.
“The real surprise is that this article exists in an artistic syndicate law, as we would only imagine this kind of law would exist in a religious theocracy,” the statement reads.
“It is not imaginable that an artist who has committed a crime and finished their time in prison can be stopped from their job,” the statement continued. “This law should only apply to political jobs and jobs in the public sector.”
The statement also highlighted that the law can only be changed via an elected parliament, which will not be easy due to the prevailing conservatism in the country.
Artists supporting the statement declared that this change would be the first they will lobby for when a parliament is sworn in following elections.
The statement was written by actress Nahed El-Sebai (Zaat) and supported by several actors and artists, including Amir Ramsis (director of Jews of Egypt), Tarek Hefny (DOP of Decor, Microphone), Maha Maamoun (visual artist) among many others.
Dina El-Sherbiny is an actress and television presenter. She has taken part in several television series (Moga Hara, Mowaten X) and two films (El-Hafla, Samir Abou El-Nil).