Egyptian belly dancer Sama El-Masry to be tried for 'debauchery and immorality'
Ahram Online, , Monday 1 Jun 2020

A Cairo court will begin the trial of belly dancer Sama El-Masry on 6 June. El-Masry has been charged with "debauchery and immorality."

A judicial source explained that according to the case records, El-Masry is charged with inciting immorality via social media by posting indecent photos and videos of herself.

If convicted on charges of publishing indecent photos and videos, El-Masry can get a prison sentence of no more than two years and a fine of no more than EGP 10,000 or both in accordance with Law 146/2019.

The judicial source added that if she was convicted with “advocacy for prostitution on social media” she can face imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years and a fine not exceeding EGP 100,000 according to Article 14 of Law 10/1960.

If convicted with “violating family principles and values in Egyptian society” she can face a prison sentence of no less than six months, and a fine of no less than EGP 50,000 and not exceeding EGP 100,000 or both, according to Article 25 of Law 175/2018.

The source added that Article 27 of the same law states that creating and managing an account on the internet to incite immorality is punished by imprisonment for a period of no less than two years and a fine of no less than EGP 100,000 and no more than EGP 300,000 or both.

On 23 April, El-Masry was arrested for posting sexually suggestive videos on social media, and a Cairo court ordered her arrest for 15 days on 26 April pending investigation.

The prosecutor-general’s office said it received a number of complaints from citizens over El-Masry’s posts.

El-Masry has denied the charges, saying that the videos had been taken from her mobile phone which was stolen in June 2019.

The controversial belly dancer, who had previously released videos online mocking the Muslim Brotherhood group during the one-year rule of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, claimed that members of the outlawed group were the ones who reported her to the prosecution over her political views.