Egyptian well-known singer Dina El-Wedidi has said she will challenge a decision by the Musicians Syndicate to revoke her performance permit after she reportedly made a comment on social media they deemed inappropriate.
On her Facebook page on Sunday the singer had apparently commented approvingly about a court decision on the same day to withdraw arrest powers from the actors' and musicians' syndicates.
The Musicians Syndicate, which licenses commercial musicians, announced on Sunday that her annual performance permit would be revoked.
The syndicate’s media advisor, Tarek Mortada, told Ahram Online that "El-Wedidi's comment was inappropriate and the syndicate cannot tolerate this," without however explaining further which rules the singer had broken.
The singer commented on her Facebook page in response that: “If this announcement [regarding the suspension of her permit] is true, I will appeal to court, as it is a void decision and I was not questioned regarding what I was accused of.”
Speaking to Ahram Online, El-Wedidi declined to speak further on the matter or her reported comments about the court decision, which no longer appear on her Facebook page.
In September 2015 arrest powers were given to a number of administrative members of the syndicates by then-justice minister Ahmed El-Zend.
Lawyer and constitutional law expert Essam El-Eslamboly told Ahram Online that arrest powers make it easier for syndicates and specialised institutes to report any illegal actions by directly referring the case to the general prosecution.
In the case of the Musicians Syndicate, the power gives the holder the authority to refer to court any performer who is not a member of the syndicate.
Musicians who perform commercially must have the syndicate's authorisation, or be members, according to Egyptian law.
Some artists and activists opposed the arrest powers, on the grounds that it makes artistic practice illegal for any non-member of the syndicate, and as such opposes the right to freedom of expression.
Mortada told MENA that the syndicate’s administrative council, headed by Hany Shaker, plan to issue an appeal to the Administrative Court.
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