Belly dancer Safinaz summoned for 'insulting' Egyptian flag with outfit

Ahram Online, Sunday 3 Aug 2014

Popular dancer called in by prosecutors for allegedly defaming Egypt with a red, white and black costume she wore to a party in Ain Sokhna last week

Circulated photo on Social Media Networks shows Armenian belly dancer Safinaz wearing a dancing suit with the Egyptian flag print

The well-known Armenian belly dancer Safinaz has been summoned by Egyptian prosecutors over a report alleging she insulted Egypt and its people by wearing a dancing costume fashioned after the Egyptian flag.

The report, filed by angry citizens, said that Safinaz wore the flag-inspired costume to a party in the Red Sea resort of Ain Sokhna last week and accused her of defaming the Egyptian people and state.

Prosecutors summoned both Safinaz and the party organisers on Sunday for questioning over the allegations.

Egypt's former interim president Adly Mansour issued a law in early June imposing a jail term of up to one year and a fine with a maximum penalty of LE30,000 ($4,000) for anyone who insults the flag.

Some forms of insulting the flag, as stipulated by the law, include raising, displaying or trading a flag if it is damaged, faded or not suitable in any other way. It is also prohibited to add any slogans, designs or pictures to the flag.

Safinaz has been an immediate success since her arrival in Egypt over two years ago, with appearances in several Egyptian movies as well as paid performances at prestigious weddings. 

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